Funds are included in the proposed new county budget to hire an animal control officer, at least on a part time basis, to pick up stray dogs and cats.
County Mayor Mike Foster says $20,000 has been included in the new budget to fund the position. "We're anticipating hiring a full time, or at least a part time, employee to do that (pick up stray dogs and cats). I'm sure we don't get near as many calls as the city does, but we do get some calls that need to be answered."
"We're going to need some policies in the event of a dog bite where the animal can be quarantined for ten days and make that the standard policy. That needs to be addressed."
" We have a lot of elderly people who have dogs that come to their house that are strays and we just need a way of dealing with it in a humane and orderly way with some rules and regulations."
" I think the position would be part time. We don't really know for sure. It depends on how many hours that are actually required and what the call volume is but what we have in mind is to use that person for a lot of other things (in addition to picking up stray animals). If he or she is not doing something (picking up strays), they'll be working somewhere else, either at the landfill or at the jail, or somewhere. They won't be sitting over there (at the animal shelter) waiting for the phone to ring but they'll have some other job to do."
The strays would be kept at the animal shelter just off Smith Road in Smithville.