Animal Shelter Shutting Down - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Union County, IL

Animal Shelter Shutting Down

Animal Shelter Shutting Down
By: Arnold Wyrick

Union County, IL - The problems at the Union County Animal Control Shelter began back in December when 19 malnourished horses were removed from a local farm. This past week the county's animal control officer Donna Hawk, resigned over a controversy between her and county board members involving how to sell the horses.

That leaves no one to take care of the animals housed in the county shelter.

"It's a typical animal control program where it's understaffed and under budgeted. And there needs to be more then one person doing the job. And that's not always feasible in a lot of small counties," Hawk said.

Currently there are about 40 dogs and cats housed at the shelter. They are all available for adoption. But there's only one week left to pick one up. The shelter will close on March 30th.

"On our last day any of the adoptable animals that are still here will be coming with me. Rightway has accepted them and we'll be moving them into their adoption program," Hawk said.

In the meantime the 19 horses rescued from the Union County farm will be auctioned off on March 25th at one o'clock at the Anna city fairgrounds.

Hawk maybe resigning as care taker of the county animals, but she says shes not giving up on animals in Union County.

"I'll still be working with rescue groups in Southern Illinois, and be able to move some of the animals into rescue groups. And help find homes for them," Hawk said.

But as of this week they're not taking in any more animals. So after the end of the month they're will be no where for stray and abandoned animals to go in Union County.

"Because we don't know if anybody will be here after the 30th to care for them. And I don't want to leave the county in that situation."

Union County Board Chairman Bill Jackson tells Heartland News they still don't know what they're going to do for animal control in the county, in the future.

"We're going to see how the auction of the horses goes this weekend. Then this next week I'm going to call a special meeting to see where we are, and if the communities who signed into an agreement with the county for animal control are still interested in participating. The problem we've run into is that some of them aren't paying their share of the costs, as was agreed. So we've got a serious situation. And some serious discussions in the days ahead."

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