Pocahontas SPCA Gets Animal Shelter Contract Starting July 2010

Marlinton, WV – The Pocahontas County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or SPCA, will oversee the animal shelter and related duties for the county in the next fiscal year that begins July 1st. Theirs was one of two bids for animal control opened at the Pocahontas County Commission meeting Tuesday. The other bid is from former county animal control officer Sandy Mallow, who stepped down from the job in December of 2009.

Following Mallows resignation, Allegheny Recreation Center owners John Fitzgerald and JP Duncan entered into an agreement with the Pocahontas Humane Society to create a temporary animal shelter in the ARC building in Marlinton. The County Commission contributed around $26,000 for needed upgrades and animal cages. The relationship between ARC and the Humane Society, increasingly a rocky one, had recently broken down completely. With no other shelter options at hand, the Humane Society did not submit a bid for the contract.

Commission President Martin Saffer read from the bid submitted by Mallow, who was unable to attend Tuesdays meeting. She says since her resignation, she’s taken in 25 adult dogs and 50 puppies. She’s been able to place all but 8 of the dogs in other homes through her Last Chance Animal Rescue operation, located in the northern part of the county. Her bid is $ 47,500.

The SPCA bid is considerably higher at $79,400. This bid includes a sub-contract with the ARC owners for $74,400 for the shelter facilities. The additional 5000.00 is for special veterinary expenses including animal intake, emergency or special medical care, and euthanasia, when necessary. They request that the Commission provide the 5000.00 at their first meeting in July.

Pocahontas County Sheriff David Jonese says he’s primarily concerned with having a good shelter and a good working relationship with those who run it. To this end, Commissioner David Fleming made a motion to accept the SPCA bid, contingent on working out an agreement with the Sheriffs’ department. The motion was passed unanimously.

A second proposal put together with the assistance of County Coordinator Jay Miller, seeks a contribution of up to $2500.00 for the SPCA to hold an open adoption to reduce the number of animals at the shelter before the new contract begins. The motion passed, again contingent on working out the particulars with the Sheriffs’ department.

In other business, the Commission approved a steering committee for the County Water Resources Task Force. They are Beth Little, Joshua Hardy, and Don McNeel, representing the Southern district, and Dennis Egan, Jo Lori Drake and Anne Smith representing the Northern district. Vista Volunteer and task force coordinator Lynmarie Knight says she hasn’t had any interest from the Central district, but asked the Commissioners to approve at least one position from that district to be confirmed at a later date.

The Commissioners will host a community pot luck supper later this month to talk about community planning. The event will be held at the Opera House on June 28th at 5:30pm. Anyone interested is invited to bring their ideas and a dish to share.

A letter of support for the group Highlanders for Responsible Development was approved on a two to one vote. The letter offers Commission support in the groups push to force Highland New Wind Development to seek an Incidental Take Permit for the proposed multi wind turbine project in Highland County. Commissioner Griffith cast the opposing vote.

The next regular meeting of the Pocahontas County Commission is Tuesday, July 6th.

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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