Two topics continue to receive considerable attention from Fort Defiance Humans Society officials — finding and keeping adequate help, and a cat trap and release program.
Discussion of those two items were agenda topics during the humane society board’s monthly meeting Wednesday evening at the Justin F. Animal Coressel Shelter.
Shelter Director Lisa Weaner discussed her efforts to work with Defiance officials on establishing a trap, neuter, release program (TNR) for feral cats.
Traps would be provided to the public to catch cats and transport them to a site where they would be spayed and neutered, and tested for disease. Disease-free cats would be released back into the environment from which they came.
Weaner made a presentation to Defiance City Council about the TNR program on June 22.
She told the board that the animal shelter doesn’t have the “room or the resources” to provide the service, and mentioned the possibility of mobile units. Buying the traps, Weaner added, “is the easy part.”
In a reference to current city law that prohibits feeding of feral cats, she stated that you cannot have such a prohibition and maintain a TNR program.
“... we can’t have an ordinance in the city that says you can’t feed feral cats if we go ahead and do this TNR program, so it’s got to line up,” Weaner said. “There’s a lot of things that have to line up.”
Changes in the city code, and funding for a TNR program, are matters council would have to discuss and decide in the future.
Earlier, Weaner said right now “I’m in the gathering stage” on the program, but she plans to return to council “with at least some options and/or recommendations.”
Also Wednesday, Weaner noted the continuing problem of filling staff positions. She said at least two additional part-time employees are desired.
“We continue to struggle with personnel,” she said. “Getting new hires in is just a nightmare, like everybody’s going through right now. I don’t even know what to say about it. I’ve never seen it this bad. Ever.”
Weaner said starting pay is in the $10-11 range for the open positions.
Board member Gary Dowler reminded Weaner that in “emergency situations” board members — who number 15 — could be asked to help out.
In other business Wednesday, the board:
• reviewed the monthly animal shelter report, noting that 40 dogs were taken in during June, along with four cats. Nine cats were adopted in June, as well as 22 dogs. Nineteen dogs were reclaimed, according to the report. The shelter housed 38 dogs as of Monday, along with 35 cats.
• approved the financial report for June, showing net income of $13,485.72 during the first six months of 2021, compared to $25,610.45 during the same period in 2020.
• thanked Facebook followers and others who provided donations to help cover approximately $2,000 in medical expenses for an abused Yorkshire Terrier that was brought to the animal shelter.
• briefly discussed the humane society’s large fundraiser planned on Oct. 2 (Dueling Pianos at the Defiance Eagles). Tickets are $75 for one person or $250 for four.
• scheduled meetings for the facilities/planning committee on Wednesday and for the grants committee on Aug. 16
• thanked Matt Reinecke of Spin City Laundromat for a donation and Dr. Karen Pedden, a Hicksville veterinarian who continues to provide spay/neuter services to the animal shelter.
• met in executive session to discuss personnel.