Residents hoping to revive local Humane Society
A group of Faribault County residents are working hard to revive the local Humane Society.
Last Monday, two of them were at the Blue Earth City Council meeting to ask for help from the city.
Staci Thompson is the president of the Faribault County Humane Society and acted as the spokesman for the group.
Thompson says her fellow members want to work with the local cities and the county to help place dogs and cats found loose in the county.
“We want to work with local animal control officers, so when an animal gets picked up, we can help return it to the owner, or place it in a home,” she explains.
Another of the goals of the group is to either remodel the current pound building, or have the city build a new one.
Thompson says the current one does not meet all the state codes.
Councilman Dick Maher says the city considered a new building at the same time they remodeled the city hall and built a new police/fire hall.
“At the time the cost was estimated to be $20,000,” Maher says.
City Administrator Kathy Bailey says there are construction plans for a building in the city files.
Thompson says it has been confusing trying to figure out the money issues with animal control.
“Blue Earth charges $22 per day for housing the animals in the pound,” Thompson says. However, other cities in the county also house animals there, and pay Blue Earth.
“It all gets a bit confusing, who collects the fines, and who pays who for what,” she says. “There does not seem to be a paper trail from the smaller cities to Blue Earth.”
Wells has their own pound, but the other towns use the one in Blue Earth, she says.
Thompson was asked if the Faribault County group is modeling itself after the Martin County Humane Society, and she says they are.
“We think the humane society needs to work with the animal control officers and city authorities,” she says.
Councilman Dan Brod expressed interest in the plan, saying it could cut down on the city’s responsibility. Councilman Glenn Gaylord was concerned about the fee collection, and paying for both a new building and ongoing costs.
“The fees would stay the same, with the city,” Thompson says. “We are just interested in finding homes for these pets.”
Members of the new humane society have already placed five dogs into homes, and also are trying to find “foster homes” for others.
“I talked to Kathy (Bailey) about the current animal ordinance and possibly getting it changed,” Thompson says.
Under the current law, a person needs to have fewer than three dogs or cats, or else they need to have a kennel license.
“I have two dogs and this ordinance precludes me from taking in another, even on a temporary foster care situation,” she pointed out, adding that many homes in Blue Earth probably have three dogs or more.
In the end, the council instructed Bailey to work with the group and report back to the council about any new plans.