Commissioners forge ahead with plans to complete dog shelter



At least two of the three Jackson County commissioners ensure the completion of a county dog shelter.

“I’ve heard a lot of misinformation on the dog shelter,” commissioners President Matt Reedy said Tuesday night during a meeting at the Jackson County Courthouse.

Construction of the shelter behind the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department in Brownstown started in 2018 but came to a stop late last year as donations dwindled. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t helped fundraising efforts, either, because it forced the cancellation of the annual Fur Ball, which had been expected to help with construction costs.

Reedy said commissioners have voted to accept the uncompleted shelter behind the jail in Brownstown from the Jackson County Dog Shelter committee. That 2-1 vote was taken during commissioner’s Sept. 15 meeting. Commissioner Drew Markel, who voted against accepting the shelter, was not present for Tuesday’s meeting.

“(Commissoner Bob Gillaspy) and I have talked about it since then a little bit, and we believe we can trim the budget for finishing it out,” Reedy said.

He has heard rumors from some in the community that it would cost $300,000 to finish.

“That’s ludicrous,” Reedy said. “In fact, I think it’s well under a third of that and that’s putting our heads together and figuring out best methods. So we would never do that. I don’t know where this information comes from, I am just trying to squash a fire.”

In August, Debbie Hackman, representing the dog shelter committee, asked the county council for $85,000 to complete the project.

County Attorney Susan Bevers said fundraising efforts for the shelter have raised $8,000, and the dog shelter committee has asked commissioners to request that money, which is being held in a fund with the Community Foundation of Jackson County.

Those funds are needed to pay for some on-going work at the dog shelter or work recently completed.

“So we may have a little more completion to that building than what you did a month ago,” she said.

Since the shelter sits on county property, commissioners already have control over it, she added.

After the meeting, Gillaspy said commissioners are aware Ruth Riley, who owns Red Sky Rescue, may not want to accept dogs from the county a few years from now. The county presently has a contract with her to accept dogs taken there by the animal control officer.

That would leave the county without a place to house stray dogs, he said.

In another matter, commissioners voted 2-0 to approve the county plan commission’s favorable recommendation to rezone property at 6968 W. County Road 300S in Medora, to allow for construction of a Dollar General store.

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How to donate to the Jackson County Dog Shelter

Tax-deductible donations may be made to the foundation at P.O. Box 1231, Seymour, IN 47274. Its office is at 107 Community Drive in Seymour. Online donations may be made at


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