Animal service non-profit Hoof or Paw needs financial backing to begin full operations in the area, and it has begun requesting the support of municipalities, something which should be given serious consideration.
Animal control is not a new problem for Marion County, but the new organization, spearheaded by Calen Weston, could be one more step towards putting it on a leash. The county is currently served by the Marion-Winston Animal Shelter in Twin and the Marion County Humane Society, but Weston says there need to be more hands on deck.
In just two months, Hoof or Paw has made an impressive effort in animal services. Weston appears to have the strategy, urgency and drive to add considerably to the efforts already in place. Her organization is seeking to begin helping to spay and neuter stray animals, provide shelter for abused pets and become a hub for adoptions. The first step for Weston is to construct a shelter in the Pikeville Community on land provided by the Marion County Commission, though she has already started holding animals on her own property in Detroit.
Whether they decide to help or not, our municipalities should at least seriously consider partnering with this type of organization. There are also strong arguments that our local governing bodies should begin to consider passing mandates that will help reduce the stray animal population, such as leash laws and a pet licensing program.
Pets and animals are a sensitive and personal issue for many, and passing local policies that attempt to direct how someone handles their animals will likely anger some.
We are open-minded about how this problem can be solved and are not partial to any certain method or law--it’s all up for debate. What we are sure of is how animal control has been handled is evidently not working.
Some of our cities have leash laws that are not followed due to the difficulty of enforcement--an organization like Hoof or Paw that is available to pick up stray animals could be the solution. Where leash laws do exist, we need our city and town leaders adhering to them themselves.
Reducing Marion County’s stray animal population will mean less euthanasia, less animal abuse, less impacts with vehicles, a safer and healthier community and a more attractive area for potential business and industry.
See complete story in the Journal Record.