Some pet lovers and city workers at the Smithville Animal Shelter are up in arms over a city policy requiring homeless animals to be euthanized if no one claims them after ten days, a policy that has not always been followed.
Mayor Taft Hendrixson visited the shelter Monday and found that the number of cats and dogs being kept there exceeded the capacity of the facility.
Hendrixson reportedly told the workers there that the city would have to adhere to the policy in the interest of the welfare and safety of the public.
In a prepared news release, Mayor Hendrixson writes that \" The City of Smithville would like the citizens and quests of our area to know that our City provides Animal Control Services so as to preserve the safety and security of all. It is inherent in our nature as responsible people to both love and cherish all animals and treat them with both respect and compassion. With this ideal in mind, it is incumbent upon us to respect the laws and ordinances that govern our society when it comes to abandonment, over-breeding, left to stray or lack of supervision of our animals. As most would agree, these unfortunate occurrences which left uncontrolled create safety issues for our children and cause needless suffering to the abandoned animals.\"
\" The City, in cooperation with interested parties, has set up a facility to temporarily house these discarded animals. This facility was created to temporarily refuge wayward animals for a period of 10 days in a humane condition so that owners could readily find their cherished assets when lost. The shelter also serves as a temporary holding facility for animals that have been picked up for displaying vicious tendencies.\"
\" Although most communities our size can not offer this type of service due to budget and manpower constraints, the City of Smithville strives to afford our citizens the very best in guidance and leadership.\"
\" Unfortunately, the City cannot support a long-term self- sustaining commitment to house these animals any longer than 10 days with the ever-increasing population of stray animals far exceeding our potential to adequately and humanely support this initiative. Our Animal Control personnel contact outside sources to help place these unwanted animals with loving homes, but accumulation far exceeds the demand for adoption. As a result, it is with deep sadness that some of these animals may have to be humanely euthanized.\"
\"It is the City's position to work within the established chartered guidelines of 10 days and aggressively seek adoption with any agency to help these animals and avoid the alternative.\"
Some of the animals have been adopted since Tuesday.
If you would like to adopt an animal from the shelter call 597-1363. The Shelter is located behind the county highway garage just off Smith Road.