By: Laura Genouw
St. Johns commissioners are still debating the need for a new animal shelter at the Jan, 28 city commission meeting. Debate revolved around whether there is a need for a new animal shelter for St. Johns or whether the city should combine with the Humane Society.
The commissioners said, stray or lost animals in the city are in need of a place to be held. They say a separate animal shelter can be built in the community to keep the business local, or have the animals taken to the Human Society located about 25 minutes away in East Lansing.
The cost of combining with the Humane Society is estimated at $1.2 million according to commissioners. They said the cost for building a new shelter in St. Johns would be significantly less and has already been saved for and budgeted.
Commissioners said the Human Society is a well-known business that takes great care of its animals, and the building is upscale with high living standards. However, the commissioners and Mayor Dana Beaman expressed concern for the distance between St. Johns and East Lansing and the travel time it will take officers to transport the animals.
Police Chief Michael Madden said he believes a local animal shelter in St. Johns would be best for the animals and the community.
“Nothing will change for the officers who collect the animals, only the location of where they are brought,” Madden said. “If we move to East Lansing, the community will have no officers on duty for about an hour while they are transporting the animal.”
Madden also said that many of the lost animals picked up off the street by officers are often claimed by their owners shortly after they have been found. He said most animals would be claimed before the officers even make it to the Human Society in East Lansing.
Other concerns expressed by the city of St. Johns include other animals outside of household dogs and cats. The city of St. Johns has many animals outside of the standard housedog or cat, which the Humane Society does not handle or house.
A vote on the matter is scheduled to happen at 9 a.m. on Jan. 29.
Michael Madden – Police Chief
firstname.lastname@example.org (989) 224-6721 ext. 102
Dana Beaman – Mayor
email@example.com (989) 224-8944