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KPFL proposal about reducing unwanted animal population

| January 26, 2006 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

Pet overpopulation is a local problem. Bottom line, there are more dogs and cats being born than there are homes. The county euthanizes hundreds every year because there aren't enough homes. This costs us taxpayers, who pay for county facilities and staff who house, feed, and then kill these animals. The mission of Kootenai Pets for Life is to reduce the number of unwanted animals so there are enough homes for the ones who are here. This saves taxpayer dollars.

This issue seems to be turning into a county shelter vs. KPFL issue. Frankly, as a taxpayer, I don't care if the public employees for whom my tax dollars provide a paycheck like the idea of KPFL having a shelter closer to them. They should be looking for ways a new shelter will benefit us taxpayers. Not so many years ago, the county commissioners approached KPFL to take over the county shelter and its duties so they obviously saw KPFL's benefit to the community. As an all volunteer organization, they were not in a position to do so. Now that KPFL is ready to build a new shelter, the county seems to have changed their mind. Councilman Stu Crismore stated at the Jan. 9 meeting, "One's animal control, the other's what Pets for Life does."

While that is correct, who cares? Their vision for the future of Lincoln County should be the same, reduce the animal overpopulation problem and save us taxpayers money. Outside Lincoln County, government animal control and non-profit shelters like KPFL partner successfully to that end. What's preventing it here?

Since 2000, Kootenai Pets for Life has helped with the alteration of more than 2500 animals. The county commission has partnered with them with spay/neuter clinics and us taxpayers have won. At the rate of reproduction, this represents more than 100,000 animals not being born in the county over the next few years. At even $30 cost per animal for the county to handle them, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out this effort is saving big money. KPFL has also placed more than 800 animals, that would have most likely been euthanized, in homes . There's a few thousand more dollars.

I applaud Councilmen Huntsberger, Roll, and McElmurry for requesting that Councilman Crismore's city-county committee recommending denial of KPFL's request put its reasons in writing so thoughtful analysis by the whole council can be made. Good public stewardship and decision making is based on data, not personal opinions, family relationships, and job security.

KPFL has put their facts forward and done their homework as requested by the council. They have designed a facility that addresses the noise concerns of those in the area. KPFL has extended their hand in partnering with the county to solve the problem and had successful efforts with them. Why are they opposing a new non-taxpayer funded facility? The only ones who will suffer by a lease denial are the taxpayers.

Enough! This issue is not about KPFL vs. the county shelter. It's about reducing the animal overpopulation problem and saving us taxpayers money. Everything else is just taking care of someone's personal interests and has no place in public decision making. It is our community and our animal overpopulation problem, we have to be part of the solution. Support KPFL's proposal for a shelter facility and encourage the county to embrace KPFL as a beneficial partner. And once and for all, just get over it.

Cindy Colvin

Troy