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Still no home for Rover'

By Staff
July 8, 2001
Lauderdale County supervisors will tell you Lauderdale County is a growing, progressive community. That's what they need for people to hear if taxpayers are going to pay for a new industrial park, for "law-enforcement" not under the county sheriff's supervision that simply directs traffic during school hours and reports downed stop signs. People need to think progress is under way if they are to support budgets for conventions and training, tourism, revitalization and new construction.
But how many progressive-thinking, fast-growing communities have gaunt, mangy, potentially dangerous animals roaming in their subdivisions and roads? The specter of packs of stray dogs roving around the big green trash boxes in the county does not convey a positive image.
The fact is, "Rover" needs a shelter.
Supervisors have refused to to give up "recreational property" at Lovers Lane, so there will be no shelter there. Supervisors considered sites on Lakeland Road and in the new industrial park and had two acres of county property cleared off Old Eighth Street Road. But no shelter.
They are now reconsidering taking over the city's of Meridian's animal shelter. City employees may become county employees.
Sounds like E-911 all over again, with the city and county bickering over which would get what in the process.
The bottom line is Humane Society organizer Cheryl Walton has been working for a year to solve the stray and unleashed animal problem. She took in animals at her own residence. She organized a group of volunteers and got her organization chartered. She held fundraisers and got money and materials donated.
She almost single-handedly forced the supervisors to do as much as they have done, which is to consider several locations and develop an animal control ordinance they have not passed. And she did it without the more than $37,000 paycheck supervisors get each year to solve problems.
If Cheryl Walton can do it, why can't the board of supervisors? Maybe it's time for this community's business leaders to step forward and give their opinion, as most have been sadly silent throughout this whole process.

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