Commissioners form new dog shelter committee

Unwilling to let a sleeping dog lie, the Jackson County Commissioners recently formed a new committee to finish construction of a dog shelter that began back in the fall of 2018.

Construction of the shelter, located on county property behind the jail in Brownstown, has been financed with donations to this point, but one of the newly formed committee’s tasks will be finding the funds to complete it.

Members of that committee are Commissioner Matt Reedy, Sheriff Rick Meyer, Animal Control Officer Mark Deaton and three Jackson County councilmen, John Nolting, Mark Hackman and Michael Davidson.

Construction came to a halt in late 2019. Then in February 2020, Debbie Hackman asked the county council for funding to complete the project. Hackman is a member of a dog shelter committee that included private citizens raising funds to be put toward the shelter.

At that time, she said the committee had raised $245,000 in donations toward the project but needed at least $75,000 more to complete the shelter. She said donations have been slowing even though the project is near completion, but as construction lags, the cost of materials just keeps rising.

When the idea for a dog shelter first arose years ago, commissioners approved it and the location on county property as long as no public funds were used to build it.

In an October meeting, it was voted 2-1 for the commissioners to accept the dog shelter from the original Jackson County Dog Shelter committee to complete the project.

Reedy said earlier this week the reason why the new committee of county officials and employees was started is to finish the construction.

Since the shelter sits on county property, commissioners have control of it.

Currently, Red Sky Rescue in Medora houses dogs picked up by the county animal control officer, per a county contract, but that shelter is generally full and the owner, Ruth Riley, wants to cut back on the number of dogs there.

Upon completion, Meyer will oversee operations of the new dog shelter, and inmates from the Jackson County Jail will take care of the dogs. The facility is intended to be a low-kill facility.

The new committee has yet to meet, Reedy said.