Defiance County’s humane agent will now be equipped with radio messaging capabilities.
The Fort Defiance Humane Society’s governing board voted during its monthly meeting Wednesday evening to provide humane agent Stacie Fedderke — who is employed by the agency — with radio equipment.
And the board approved new adoption fees for dogs and cats (see below).
The board’s move is part of an effort to bolster safety for the humane agent. In past meetings, board members also had discussed the possibility of the agent carrying a firearm, due to the volatile situations she may encounter during investigations, although no action has been taken on that idea.
A motion approved Wednesday will allow the purchase of radio equipment from RayleCom Communications LLC, Defiance, at a cost of $2,173, along with the expenditure of approximately $10 per month for a service contract.
The radio will be incorporated into the Multi-Agency Radio System (MARCS) through the Defiance County E911 center, which is operated by the county sheriff’s office.
The board proceeded after receiving the okay from Defiance County Sheriff Doug Engel to include the humane agent in the MARCS network.
Later, the board approved new adoption fees effective Feb. 1, with some increases.
The biggest change is with the cost of adopting a puppy — the fee going from $185 to $225 — while the kitten adoption charge will go from $80 to $99.
Justin F. Coressel Animal Shelter Director Lisa Weaner indicated that expenses for the younger animals tend to be higher, thus the increase.
The adoption fee for “senior dogs” — those older than six years — will decrease from $120 to $99, while the charge for adult dogs and cats will remain at $165 and $80, respectively.
In another matter, Weaner informed the board of a change for the public’s spay and neuter option offered at the animal shelter.
The Fort Wayne organization Hope for Animals will no longer provide transport on Tuesdays to this low-cost service out of the county. However, she said that Dr. Karen Pedden — a Hicksville veterinarian who provides services to the animal shelter on Fridays — will take over the public spay/neuter low-cost service from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Tuesdays at the animal shelter.
The public will be asked to sign up and pay for the service at the animal shelter, Weaner explained.
In other business Wednesday, the board:
• approved a motion allowing Weaner’s annual hours to be increased from 1,000 to 1,500, retroactive to Jan. 1. The part-time position will continue without benefits. Board president Rick Edmonds said it’s “only fair” that the allowance be “closer to the number of hours she’s putting in.”
• reviewed the monthly animal shelter report, noting that 23 dogs were adopted in December, along with 14 cats. Two cats were taken in during December, along with 26 dogs. Seven dogs were reclaimed, according to the report. The shelter housed 22 dogs as of Monday, along with 28 cats.
• approved the December financial report. Treasurer Lisa Wiesenauer reported that net income for 2019 was $39,654.49. Edmonds commented that the strong financial report “shows we’ve been good stewards of the funds we have.”
• extended thanks to shelter volunteers Judy and Joe Speiser. Judy Speiser distributed information on how interested persons can volunteer. They can call Speiser at 419-769-2245 or the animal shelter at 419-658-2298.
• approved a motion to man a booth in the home show scheduled for March 13-14 at Defiance College. The cost is $425, with Strausbaugh and board member Randy Dennison agreeing to cover the cost.
• approved three-year terms for Edmonds, Sue Strausbaugh and Chris Yocum as board members. Edmonds was approved as board president for 2020, along with Jeremy Otte as vice president, Kristen Maki as secretary and Wiesenauer as treasurer.
• learned that the county recently installed new LED lighting at the county-owned animal shelter. The board also discussed the need for possible repairs to the animal shelter’s septic system.
• noted that the next board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 19 at ProMedica Defiance Regional Hospital.