Pocahontas County Commission Offers Additional Funding Support For Animal Control Budget

Marlinton, WV – When the Pocahontas County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals agreed to a contract to provide animal control in the county, they were unaware that the $5000.00 set aside for veterinary expenses would be depleted so quickly. At the Pocahontas County Commission meeting Tuesday, they were back to ask the Commission for more money. This is on top of the roughly $80,000.00 dollars the Commission has already provided for the year long contract.

SPCA Treasurer Jay Miller asked the Commissioners to agree to provide up to $7500.00 in matching funds. Miller says the SPCA will only ask for a dollar to dollar match for whatever money they can provide through fundraising. The Commissioners, after much discussion, reluctantly agreed to provide the money.

Leslee McCarty, with the Pocahontas County Humane Society, told the Commissioners that they need to rethink the whole shelter contract.

“Personally we would like to see a re-bid of the whole thing” says McCarty. “You need to know exactly where the money is going, what’s being spent. The problem that we see is that there really needs to be someone fully in charge, a full time person. And we think that needs to be a paid person.”

She also accuses ARC owners JP Duncan and John Fitzgerald of euthanizing more animals than the HS did when they were running the shelter. The Humane Society previously held that contract for six months, but didn’t bid on the new contract because of a falling out with the ARC owners.

Another animal related issue was also on the Commission agenda Tuesday – the proposed dog ordinance regarding dogs running loose and excessive barking. Several hunters were present for the discussion and most wonder why the county needs to enact an ordinance when there is existing state code that covers the subject.

Commissioner David Fleming, who authored the ordinance, says he wants law enforcement to have a clear authority to issue citations should the need arise. He also points out that the ordinance wouldn’t apply to municipalities or to animals used for hunting or farming purposes. After further discussion, Fleming conceded that some tweaking of the language of the ordinance is needed. But he says he believes the basic document is sound. He then asked that the item be tabled. The Commission will take up the discussion once more at the next Commission meeting on October 5th at 11am.

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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