Animal control was among the topics discussed at a Floyd County Fiscal Court meeting last week. Tonya Conn of Dumas Rescue reported that she is part of a committee that will give recommendations about animal control that would benefit the county. She said she’s working with Shaw Reynolds with the Animal Alliance of East Kentucky, Karen Slone, president of the animal shelter and veterinarian Dr. Shawn Tussey on the committee.
“We are starting a committee to try to come up with ways to address the animal issues here in Floyd County,” Floyd County Judge-Executive Robbie Williams said. “It’s out of control. I mean, we’re getting 15 calls a day.”
Conn reported that Dumas Rescue has picked up numerous animals in the last two weeks.
“We went yesterday, CPS called us in on a case, that they were either going to remove the children or the animals, and we removed nine animals from one home yesterday,” Conn said Friday. “And I took different litters, moms and pups. Some of those numbers are mothers with litters, but yet it’s still, you know, viable litters and we’ve taken that many animals in a span of 12 days, actually 22. I took three dogs on Sunday, nine dogs yesterday and it’s just — that’s me turning animals away because, you know, we just don’t have the space or capacity. And the shelter actually has called us because they’re over capacity.”
Conn said the animal control problem seems to have “escalated” in the last 17-18 months. She referenced rescuing four horses that survived the shooting of 21 horses on a strip mine on Daniels Creek, and reported three are remaining there.
“I think we could have five animal control officers and I don’t know that we’ll ever — it’ll still be hard to keep it up,” Williams said. “It’s calls every day.”
Conn explained the committee already has ideas about how to help the county deal with the problem.
“You know, we don’t want to take people’s animals, but, you know, you have to be responsible owners,” Williams said.
Conn said the animal control problem is related to the culture of this area.
“We’ve been active here since 2004, really, and I’ve learned working here that you’ve got to understand the culture, and the people and the way they see animals,” she said. “Sometimes, you know, they are pets, they are family members and these guys, they’re hunting dogs, and you’ve got to understand that, that it’s not always malice. It’s not always a situation that there’s intended malice. There’s a lot of things that an educational issue that they don’t realize that’s out there or what they can do or the options that they do have for overpopulation.”