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Salem Promises Animal Pound Will Be Safe for Neighbors

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

Salem Mayor John Raymer once again promised Monday night the city would be a good neighbor with the new animal pound the city intends to locate in the former butcher shop building at 4700 Cartter Road south of Salem.  A neighbor who lives only 100 feet away, Benjamin Tate, repeated concerns about safety to his children and animals and dogs barking at the facility.  Raymer said all dogs would remain inside and those dumping animals outside could face fines.   He noted the building was the only one the city could find that could meet the needs of an animal pound.  

"We're in a position where we are either responsible for providing a safe place for animals that are running wild, or not, and I'm tired of being in the position of 'not'" said Raymer, addressing Tate, "I understand it is next to your house, but it will not be nearly so populated as you think."

Raymer explained there is a difference between a no-kill animal shelter and a pound.

"Under no circumstances do we want this to be a long-term solution for animals to reside. I'm proposing we get those animals, and two weeks later we either adopt them out or euthanize them. That's what animal control is, it's not necessarily dog friendly, and it does not go on for a long period of time" said Raymer.

Raymer says the city's problem was brought about by owners not taking care of their animals.  Raymer was also critical of the Marion County Board of shirking their duties under state law to provide animal control, forcing the city to take action.  

Salem City Manager Bill Gruen addressed the adoption issue Tuesday morning after concerns were raised by conversation at the council meeting.  He says they will try and find shelter agencies who are interesting in picking up animals for adoption.  Gruen reports once the time period passes for someone to claim an animal, he also plans to allow for local residents to have a chance to adopt homeless pets.  He notes the city doesn't want to use euthansia on a regular basis if for no other reason than the cost is not included in their budget.  However, Gruen says there may be no other options for dogs that are not socialized or vicious.  He estimates the shelter will hold about 20 dogs, with the need to keep several openings available at all times in the event a vicious dog is picked up.  Gruen reports cats will be picked up if there are complaints, but he sees less options for adoption.  

Gruen announced on Friday the city had completed purchase of the building for $52,000.  He reported no timetable has yet been set to begin animal control services.  Gruen says the city still has kennels and equipment to purchase.  He anticipates the city hiring one fulltime and one part time person to oversee the pound and serve as animal control officer.     

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