Martin Kidston / Missoula Present
Citing a poor work setting and insufficient shelter for stray and deserted animals, the Missoula County Well being Division is in search of funding on this yr’s metropolis price range to assist fund the price of a brand new facility.
On Wednesday, well being officer D’Shane Barnett painted a bleak image of circumstances on the present animal management shelter, the place staff are crammed collectively and cats are subjected to aggravating and unsafe environments.
“Our animal management facility is insufficient. It is not secure for workers and it isn’t secure for animals, ”Barnett advised metropolis council members. “We do not have the power to satisfy Missoula County’s want.”
Barnett stated animal management staff, together with division investigators, are crammed right into a small room that additionally homes cat cages. Cat cages additionally line the hall and are actually situated exterior the canine room.
Stress generates illness among the many shelter’s feline inhabitants.
“We’re in such want that we now have cat cages actually out within the corridors. These cats need to be out within the hallway with individuals passing by and them proper subsequent to the canine room, “stated Barnett.” We deliver the cats in and, because of the stress related to this setting, they’re getting actually sick. So we now have to maintain these cats even longer.
The division’s price range request stated the venture was estimated at $ 2.3 million in 2020. However as the price of supplies and labor rises, it’s now estimated at round $ 2.7 million.
Barnett stated the division has about $ 144,000 reserved for capital enhancements and $ 400,000 allotted in county-committed ARPA funds. Final yr he requested town for $ 600,000 in ARPA funding, however the request was denied.
He’s now asking town to assist finance 60% of the venture, or about $ 1.6 million. Whereas town has grown in each dimension and inhabitants, its capability to accommodate extra animals has not grown.
“Now we have many alternatives for extra animal shelters general in Missoula,” stated board member Gwen Jones. “It causes a whole lot of stress for each animals and other people. However there may be a whole lot of want and restricted sources. “
Barnett has claimed over time that animal management has welcomed and guarded all varieties of uncared for and deserted animals.
“We have had tropical fish, birds and every kind of creatures. We had a hedgehog. Exterior town limits, we now have individuals who sadly abandon chickens and goats, “she stated.
Barnett added that the division has a fostering settlement for the horses it recovers.
“We stick with that. For now, it has labored very nicely and met our wants, “she stated.