WILLIAMSON- The Mingo County Commission approved a motion to prepare a proposal to be sent to municipalities throughout Mingo County offering the use of an animal control vehicle one day a week in an effort to address the issue of stray animals throughout the county.
Commissioner John Mark Hubbard opened the conversation stating, “We had some comments made concerning our Humane Officer…”
Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith spoke up stating, “Can I read the letter Mr. President?”
Hubbard agreed. Smith opened the letter and read, “Dear Commissioners, I am writing on behalf of the mayor and council concerning stray dogs in the city of Williamson. The city council has received numerous complaints from residents concerning stray dogs in the city. The residents have contacted the Mingo County Humane Office and requested assistance but to no avail. The residents have been told they would have to catch the dogs and the Humane Officer would then come pick the dogs up. They have been told they would be responsible for associated fees too. The residents disagree that it is there responsibility to catch the dogs or be held responsible for fees once the dogs are picked up. The council is aware that the Humane Officer has had serious health issues recently. Therefore, the council requests your assistance in resolving this issue. Thank you.” The letter was signed by City Clerk, Larry Brown.
After reading the letter Smith stated, “Well let me tell you, this fires me up to be quite honest with you. Each city has their own leash laws. Each city has its own employees. Each city has its own police department and maintenance department for the city. We are the county commission. We have one Humane Officer on staff right now and we have an animal shelter thanks to volunteers such as Save Our Strays (SOS) and others… To receive this type of letter from the city is disappointing. Instead of getting mad, we collectively come together and I believe we have developed a good solution.”
Smith continued, explaining the proposed resolution in regard to the problem posed in the letter from the City of Williamson. First, Smith discussed the difficulties in catching a stray animal. Then, Smith discussed the proposal stating, “Here is the proposal we would like to send out. We have five districts in our county: Williamson, Kermit, Delbarton, Matewan and Gilbert. We have an extra Humane Officer truck. What I propose is that the commission offers the use of that vehicle to each municipality where they could have one day a week where they could have their employees or a representative of their choosing to go out and pick up stray dogs or things that are violating their leash law in their municipality. We would be glad with the help of SOS and other organizations, to receive these strays into our animal shelter and make sure that hopefully they are adopted. I believe that instead of complaining, if we work together, we can come up with a solution and provide a good opportunity for each municipality to have the supplies and materials they need for at least one day a week to address the animal issue in the county and that Mr. Queen would work with the cities and provide training if needed. That would be my motion; that we make my proposal to each city.”
Commissioner Diann Hannah seconded the motion and the motion was approved. The discussion concerning stray animals continued following the approval of the motion.
Kathy Thompson, President of SOS, was in attendance at the meeting. Thompson participated in the discussion and discussed the need for donations, especially dog food at the shelter.
The SOS animal shelter is located on 409 Deskins Drive at Borderland. For more information call 304 -236-2300.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2279.)