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Calaveras County Panel To Help Animals

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Fido, Fluffy and other domestic animals have new friends in Calaveras County.

The Board of Supervisors decided last Monday to form a Domestic Animal Advisory Committee that will advise them on animal matters through a citizen´s perspective.

The Calaveras Humane Society has been asking the county to form such a committee over the past few years, society President Mickey Williamson said. The committee will be made up of 10 members including a veterinarian, kennel owner, commercial livestock owner, Humane Society representative, the director of Animal Control, and five members at large; one from each supervisorial district.

“If (supervisors) know citizens are concerned about the quality of what we´re able to provide, that might be impetus of putting more resources into it,” Williamson said. She said Animal Control staff members are “being asked to do a Herculean job with a totally outdated and insufficient shelter and not enough staff.”

Services offered by Animal Control include picking up stray animals and corralling loose livestock, providing rabies clinics, investigating animal cruelty cases and bite reports, and providing for animal adoptions.

“The fact is the county isn´t putting enough money into Animal Control,” Williamson said. “In the long run, depending on what decisions are made, (the society has) talked about the possibility of using some of our resources to address some of these concerns.”

The Humane Society has a shelter advisory group, which has helped to finance some improvements at the shelter. But that´s not enough, she said.

A few improvements are in the design stage at the shelter.

Jerry Howard, director of Animal Control, said he met with architects Keith and Associates of Jackson last week and they are coming up with a cost estimate for a perimeter fence, dog cages, quarantine kennels, and a roof, among many other improvement items.

Once a price is settled on, Howard said, he will come back to the board for its consideration.

Calaveras Enterprise story by Vanessa Turner. For more Calaveras news,