Mayor plans to research animal shelter

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 12, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. – Tennessee Avenue resident David Martin watches stray dogs chase his mailman every day.

&uot;You can ride all over town and see stray dogs,&uot;&160;Martin said. &uot;Three of them chase the mailman every single day. … Doing something about them would probably help the town’s image.&uot;

Groups of dogs turn over garbage cans, tear up yards and are unsightly, Mayor Glen McGlothin said. He said he received up to five calls a week about strays when he was mayor from 1988 to 1996 and heard similar complaints throughout town during this year’s mayoral campaign.

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So now, McGlothin said he will study how much time, planning and effort it would take to hire a part-time animal control officer and erect a short-term shelter to hold stray animals.

&uot;It would be great&uot;&160;for Ferriday to build a shelter, &uot;but it’s a tremendous undertaking,&uot; said Pat Cox of the Humane Society of Natchez and Adams County. Of the 2,299 animals the society took in last year, 126, or 5.5 percent, were from Concordia Parish.

In early 1999, the Concordia Parish Police Jury formed a committee to study building a shelter for the parish and Ferriday, Ridgecrest and Clayton. But the cost could be as high as $50,000 – too high for local governments that are low on cash.

&uot;Right now, (a parish) shelter is on hold because it was going to cost too much money,&uot; said Police Jury Vice President Melvin Ferrington. &uot;Plus, you have to comply with Humane Society guidelines.&uot;

McGlothin said he would like to see the town place a portable building near Louisiana 15 to serve as headquarters for a part-time animal control officer and as a place to put to sleep unclaimed animals.

&uot;I&160;would like get someone who is retired or semi-retired and could work part-time,&uot;&160;McGlothin said. &uot;That person would also be the one to put the animals to sleep and would be properly trained to do that.&uot;

A shed with a concrete floor would be behind the building and would be covered to protect dogs from the weather, he said.

Descriptions of animals held at the shelter would be posted at Town Hall so owners could pick up their animals or so unwanted animals could be adopted. A town ordinance requires such a facility to hold such animals for six days before putting they are put to sleep.

McGlothin said he is not yet sure how much hiring an animal officer and building a proper shelter would cost. &uot;That is something I’ll have to figure out in the coming weeks,&uot;&160;he said. &uot;But I&160;wouldn’t even suggest it if I&160;didn’t think we had the money.&uot;