AR-News: AR NEWS: Groups see increase in abandoned,
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WeArPetitions at aol.com
Sat Sep 6 12:03:59 EDT 2003
By KEITH ROYSDON
kroysdon at thestarpress.com
MUNCIE - As a proposal for an animal shelter to serve rural areas of Delaware
County remains in limbo, leaders of local humane groups say incidents of
animal dumping and abuse are increasing.
"We are getting tons and tons of calls about neglect, simply because there's
nowhere else for people to call," said Lisa Rich of Helping Animals Receive
Rich said local groups were also concerned about an increase in the
seriousness of animal abuse allegations.
"The calls are increasing, and they're getting worse," she said.
The Star Press recently received a call from a man reporting an incident in
which a Yorktown-area teenager dragged a sheep to death behind an all-terrain
Shelter services for strays found in rural areas are currently being handled
by the Muncie Animal Shelter, which has a $4,000-a-month contract with the
county commissioners. For in-the-field animal control, however, the county pays
the city an extra fee of $50 an hour.
Mayor Dan Canan has said that after the end of the year, he won't continue
animal-control-for-hire duties. But Delaware County Council members said this
week they wouldn't even discuss appropriating $400,000 for a joint shelter until
In the meantime, private humane groups say they are overloaded and plagued by
the dumping of animals along county roads and at shelters.
"In less than two weeks, we've had 14 animals dumped here," said Terri Panszi
of Animal Rescue Fund (ARF).
"We just had 24 calls today, 13 of which are county people who have found
animals," Panszi added. "I was listening to voice mail messages and a lady pulled
up and left two kittens in a garbage can on our front porch."
ARF's two facilities are full with more than 70 cats and 40 dogs, Panszi said.
HARM - which works with a city police officer to investigate abuse and
neglect incidents reported to 254-HARM (4267) - receives six to eight calls a day,
"Many of the calls we're getting is animals out in the county without houses
and without proper food and water," Rich said. "Animal control should educate
the owner and the problem would be solved. But the problem is, there is no one
to do that."
Commissioner Larry Crouch said it was "a little bit distressful that I'm not
making any headway."
"I haven't been able to get anybody on the council interested in [looking at
city shelter operations]," Crouch said. "It's a sad situation."
Contact news reporter Keith Roysdon at 213-5828.
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