Rashall column: Foot-dragging by council has hiked cost of animal shelter

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Guest columnist Diane Rashall lives in Indian Land.


For more than two years, the Lancaster County Council has been promising to build a new animal shelter to replace the current one dating from the 1970s. They insisted that the new shelter was Priority One.

At the last Infrastructure and Regulations Committee meeting of 2018, it was decided that the shelter construction bids were too high by $300,000 to $500,000, and committee members wanted to consider cost-cutting measures before accepting one of the bids.

Yes, building has exploded during the past year and construction costs have risen. However, if council hadn't acted with the speed of an arthritic snail the past two years, the shelter would have been built by now at a lower cost.

The existing shelter is overcrowded, and more homeless dogs and cats are coming in every day. These pets leave the shelter in one of two ways – in a vehicle on their freedom ride to their new home or rescue, or in a puff of smoke rising from the incinerator after they are killed because there is no place to put them.

Lancaster residents, aren't we better than this? Our neighboring counties, with smaller populations and fewer resources, have figured it out. For example, Chesterfield built a new shelter with 91 runs for dogs. Lancaster's has 31.

Please attend the County Council meeting on Jan. 14 and/or the I&R Committee meeting on Jan. 15 and tell your council representatives that you care about the lives of our homeless pets.