Lanett discusses possible 10-kennel city pound

Published 10:36 am Wednesday, July 3, 2024

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Lanett Police Chief Denise McCain presented information on a new project to build 10 kennels to serve the city of Lanett as a pound during the last Lanett City Council meeting.

The project comes after the city recently increased its monthly payment to the Chattahoochee Humane Society (CHS) for guaranteeing kennel space to the LPD’s animal control. Though the city has contracted with the shelter for years, McCain said this new endeavor would save the city substantial money.

Ten kennels would cost $4,000, McCain said in the meeting. One quote from a local veterinarian for euthanasia services is $2,000 per month, which McCain said would be 12 dogs a month.

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The city council has not discussed the proposed pound as of the time of publishing. However, McCain said if greenlit, the council could reallocate the money currently used for the Chattahoochee Humane Society to pay for the kennels.

Currently, the city’s contract with the CHS grants Lanett ACO with four kennels every seven days. According to McCain, the city pays $3,229 a month for guaranteed space.

CHS is only open to the public for animal intakes four days a week. According to McCain, two weeks out of every month, Lanett ACO is cut off from dropping animals off.

“We have a lot of citizens give up their pets,” McCain said later in a statement to the VTN. “That counts against us.”

State law requires that the shelter keep the animals for a week and advertise so the shelter cannot reopen the kennel for at least that long. After that, the animal can be put up for adoption or euthanized. However, CHS has undergone an almost total staff turnover, and the new director, Amber Mingin, has spent the better part of the past year working to regain the shelter’s “no-kill” status.

To qualify for “no-kill” status, the shelter has to maintain a 10% or less euthanization rate of their animal intakes.

According to McCain, the shelter’s contract with Lanett specifies that it must maintain a euthanasia program for animals that are not adopted out after a certain period.

The city’s rate was recently increased because intakes have consistently been higher than the contract specifies. Lanett’s intake numbers, McCain said, also include citizen surrenders and ACO intakes. The proposed ACO pound would allow the city to hold stray dogs and cats for a certain period while attempting to find the owner. After that, if the animal is not adopted, the city would be able to use a contract with a local veterinarian to euthanize homeless animals for space.

The seven-day hold on stray adoptions and euthanizations applies to pounds as well as shelters so the earliest that the city would be able to clear out space is the same as the shelter.

“We’ll make every attempt to find the owner,” McCain said in a statement to the VTN.

She added that the city will post stray animals on Facebook and try to find and contact the owners during the holding period.

The VTN reached out to Mayor Jamie Heard for a comment on the proposed pound, but he declined to give a statement before discussing it with the city council members.