The possibility of arming Defiance County’s humane agent remained a topic of interest for the Fort Defiance Humane Society Wednesday evening.
The agency’s governing board briefly discussed the matter during its monthly meeting at ProMedica Defiance Regional Hospital — revisiting a topic that had surfaced earlier this year — and also reviewed an upcoming fundraiser before beginning the first of two strategic planning sessions.
At present, the board does not have a policy for arming county humane agent Stacie Fedderke, but there is some worry about her safety due to the potentially emotional situations she handles.
On hand Tuesday was former Defiance city police officer Chris Yocum, who recently filled in for Fedderke during her absence. He noted the dangers that humane agents face as they investigate cases of animal neglect and cruelty.
Board member Gary Dowler said he would like Yocum to make a future presentation with his viewpoint and experiences.
“Chris, some of us have real apprehension (about) the issue of Stacie going out solo on calls without visible sidearm protection — those type of issues. ... I would really be interested in having you present something to our group about how you feel about that situation and your perspective on it because there’s a lot of different viewpoints. But our concern, number one, is safety for Stacie.”
According to Yocum, humane agents often come into contact with the same people that police officers have been dealing with for years.
As the topic was not on Wednesday’s agenda, the board deferred the issue to another meeting, which Yocum agreed to attend. He also expressed his interest in becoming a board member.
In another matter, the board discussed the FDHS’ Critter Cards annual fundraiser which is about to begin this week.
According to Justin F. Coressel Animal Shelter Executive Director Lisa Weaner, the cards will become available Friday. They will be sold at Defiance’s Chief Supermarket through Christmas Eve, and also will be available on Saturday mornings at Biggby Coffee Shop, 720 N. Clinton St.
The cards will provide purchasers with discounts at a number of local businesses, including restaurants.
Some 3,000 cards are available for sale, according to Weaner.
Following Wednesday’s meeting, the board held its first strategic planning session. A second was scheduled today at the Defiance Eagles.
Topics scheduled for review included the agency’s mission, expansion of revenue resources, animal shelter facilities, housing/marketing of dogs and cats, and staff/volunteers.
In other business, the board:
• reviewed the monthly animal shelter report, noting that 20 dogs were adopted in October, along with seven cats. Ten cats were taken in during October, along with 29 dogs. Thirteen dogs were reclaimed, according to the report. The shelter housed 26 dogs as of Tuesday, along with 39 cats.
• accepted the resignation of Susan Mack and approved the addition of Randy Dennison.
• approved the October financial report provided by treasurer Lisa Wiesenauer. It showed net income of $14,998.23 from January through October compared to $24,150.98 during the same period of 2018. “We continue to be in good shape,” she said.
• received Weaner’s directors’ report. She thanked the city of Defiance and Mayor Mike McCann for providing the second half of the city’s financial contribution to the shelter’s feline spay and neuter effort. She said Hicksville did not approve a second-half contribution. Weaner also thanked Yocum for filling in for Fedderke as acting humane agent.
• learned from board chairman Rick Edmonds that the Defiance Area Foundation will provide the animal shelter with a $4,866 grant to purchase 10 cat kennels.
• learned from Linda Thurwell that the annual Party in the Park fundraiser is scheduled for Aug. 7 while the agency’s largest fundraiser — known this year as the Howl-o-ween Ball — is set for Nov. 14 next year at the Defiance Eagles.
• passed a motion approving a new visitor participation policy for board meetings. No more than five minutes will be given to each speaker.
• noted that the next board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Dec. 18 in the Tiffin Room at ProMedica Defiance Regional Hospital.