Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

April 26, 2013

April 26, 2013: Letters to the editor

Housing of strays not part of contract

Mr. David Wallace’s letter to the editor on April 23 raises questions that we at the Kokomo Humane Society hope to address. We all feel that disaster preparedness in these days of unpredictable weather and other natural disasters is important for humans as well as their animals.

The Kokomo Humane Society does indeed have a capacity to house approximately 120 animals. Our purpose, however, is to serve as a safe haven for Kokomo and Howard County’s homeless animals, whether lost, abandoned or simply unwanted. Except for a few brief weeks in winter, we are at or near capacity every day, and we are constantly working to return animals home, transfer them to other organizations, or re-home them ourselves. Even so, more homeless animals keep arriving at the shelter, and they are our priority.

Additionally, we must take into consideration the health of all our animals, and those of owned animals displaced in disasters. In the case of many of our strays, we have no information about the animal’s history, vaccinations or health condition. We do vaccinate every dog or cat that comes to us without a vet record. We also clean and disinfect cages, runs and other animal housing daily. However, we do not know where a stray animal has been or what it has been exposed to, and there is no veterinarian on our staff.

Because of this and the constant intake of animals at our shelter, we do not board animals.

Our contract with the City of Kokomo and with Howard County is for animal control — picking up stray animals and housing them either until their owner reclaims them or until we are able to determine the best outcome for them. It does not include disaster housing. That is an area where we are working with Howard County and state officials to make sure that pet owners have a safe, healthy place to house their animals when they must evacuate their homes. That group is identifying a variety of places where animals may be housed, including temporary housing supervised by the State Board of Animal Health and other facilities.

This is a long process, and one that is being carefully considered.

Ultimately, every pet owner needs to be responsible for the health and safety of his or her animals. A detailed disaster plan is a good starting place. We may think it couldn’t happen to us, but the flooding of last week proves that it can happen anywhere, anytime.

The Kokomo Humane Society can help pet owners determine what they need for a disaster pet survival kit. Watch our website, www.kokomohumane.org, for more information.

Jean L. McGroarty

Kokomo Humane Society

Leaders shouldn’t dress down public

I have attended many meetings recently of different boards, committees and commissions in regards to the industrial wind turbines and Tipton County’s comprehensive plan. Over and over I hear some of those members refer to the fact that they can’t be blamed for the public not “paying attention” and attending meetings years ago when ordinances were being discussed and implemented.

At the plan commission meeting April 18, some members of the public were, very politely, suggesting alternatives to the way the citizenry is notified of upcoming meetings and what the agenda will contain. As one person pointed out, many of us do not get our information the same way we used to.

“I’ve got two kids, and I know you have kids. When my kids don’t do something right, they’re going to look for somebody else to blame. And I just want you guys to own up to that, if you’re wanting to be involved, the opportunities have been there all along, and until this one issue came up, it’s great to see you all here, but we can’t do 500 ways of notification, but you gotta take some onus and responsibility among yourself,” a committee member said.

I understand the various county boards and commissions may have followed the letter of the Indiana Code regarding how they must advertise or announce these meetings. I don’t believe they followed the spirit of the law.

This industrial wind turbine issue is not just someone trying to build a large barn too close to someone else’s property line; this is a huge countywide issue, and I think everyone serving on these boards could have done a more aggressive job of informing the public, especially when I believe many of them knew of the secretive contracts being signed between E.ON and then juwi, and the landowners.

And I especially don’t appreciate one of my government leaders dressing down the public. These leaders were elected or appointed to serve the greater interest of Tipton County residents, and we, the public, shouldn’t have to baby-sit them at meetings to make sure they are serving the greater good.

Theresa Vaughn