Following an article published in the Deseret News last month that addressed concern over the treatment of stray dogs in the city, several troubled citizens met with Mayor Don Landes and Councilmember Troy Houston to discuss the possibility of donating the funds for a new no-kill animal shelter or converting the current shelter to a no-kill shelter.
Houston presented to the council what was discussed at the meeting and also invited Enoch’s animal control officer, Chris Johnson, to speak to the council and tell them how Enoch made the transition from a low-kill to a no-kill shelter.
Enoch’s shelter started out with only eight kennels, Johnson said, but has been expanded to have 20 kennels that are 75 percent full most of the time.
All food, blankets, beds, leashes and other supplies are donated to Enoch’s shelter, which also receives a lot of monetary donations as well, Johnson said.
While the transition to a no-kill shelter can take some time, “it can be done with the right people and volunteers,” Johnson said. “I’d like to be the first county to go no-kill.”
Parowan’s shelter currently only has four kennels and Councilmember Steve Decker brought up whether the city could contract with Enoch or the Iron County shelter to take overflow animals. Johnson said that when Enoch was making the transition to no-kill, they had contracted with another shelter, so that would be possible for Parowan as well.
Houston said as far as funding for an expansion for a shelter is concerned, several community members have already expressed interest in donating the funds.
“Once you say you’re going no-kill, that’s when donations start coming in,” Houston said.
He and Johnson both mentioned Best Friends animal shelter in Kanab, Walmart and Purina as potential donors of food and other supplies if a no-kill policy were to be implemented.
“If we can convey to the public that the primary responsibility of the animals is with the owner, that will save a lot of problems,” Landes said. “We need to find someone like (Johnson) from our community.”
If the shelter policy is changed, volunteers would be required to take over much of the work load, including animal intake, care and even adoptions.
The council moved the discussion to the next action meeting where they will make it clear that the city will be moving in the direction of changing the shelter policy.