Mallow Gets Pocahontas Animal Control Contract For 2011-2012

Marlinton, WV – When the Pocahontas County Commission awarded the animal shelter contract for 2011-2012 to Sandy Mallow Tuesday morning, it came down, as it often does, to money.

Mallow and the owners of the Allegheny Recreation Center, John Fitzgerald and JP Duncan, were the only ones to submit bids for the contract for the next fiscal year that begins on July 1st. ARC, located in Marlinton, has the current animal shelter contract that expires on June 30th. Their bid for the new fiscal year is the same as last years, $74,400.00, over $23,000.00 more than the County Commission budgeted for the contract. Mallow’s Last Chance Rescue, located in Durbin, submitted a bid for $45,500.00 well under the Commission budget of $51,000.00. Pocahontas County Commission President David Fleming reads part of Mallow’s proposal.

“The Sheriff, his deputies and the Commissioners will have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week access to the shelter” Mallow writes. “I will have at least 20 hours a week posted for the public to view animals for adoption and to bring in owner surrenders. Common sense dictates that at times there will be an overpopulation; that just means that I will have to work harder and faster to get them out to rescues or adoptions.”

Mallow will be aided in that pursuit by Last Chance Rescue, her successful animal rescue and adoption business she’s run for several years. As a non-profit, she also has access to other rescue operations such as Pet Finders. Last Chance strives to be a no-kill facility.

Mallow does admit that she needs to make some additional improvements to her facility and asked the Commission for an advance of $5500.00 of the contract to cover the cost of pouring concrete for the outdoor kennels and for electricity and heating upgrades to the building that will shelter cats and sick dogs. She estimates that it could take up to 2 months to get this work done, but hopes for much less.

John Fitzgerald from ARC, questioned why Mallow had not made the upgrades prior to submitting a bid.

“With all due respect to Mrs. Mallow, we’ve all known for a year that this bid was coming up” he says. “It looks like she would have been prepared for this bid and I think it would be unfair because I don’t see her having all the requirements to meet the bid.”

Fitzgerald notes that they did receive funding from the Commission to get the current animal shelter up and running in January, 2010, after Mallow submitted her resignation as animal control officer in December, 2009. Mallow says a lack of funding from the Commission was one of the reasons she resigned.

“Before I resigned, I came to the County Commission and asked for $8000.00 to get quarantine cages and the cement” she says. “We funded that” says Fleming. “No, I was not” says Mallow, “you agreed to it, but I never got it, and then in November is when you said yes, we’ll go ahead and get it. I couldn’t pour in November outside. That is one of my reasons for resigning, because I come [sic] to the Commission for help and couldn’t get it.”

Commissioner Martin Saffer says both bids demonstrate concern for the welfare of animals, but in the end it comes down to money. All three Commissioners commended the ARC for doing a good job of providing for and taking of the animals. However, the Commissioners voted unanimously to award the contract to Mallow, pending a physical site inspection by Commissioner Fleming. The new contract takes effect on Friday, July 1st.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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