Pike County government will keep control of animal shelter

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Pike County officials have decided to keep control of the animal shelter.

Earlier this year, county officials asked for proposals to manage the shelter, and the Appalachian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals submitted one. A few days ago the fiscal court decided against it, leaving Appalachian SPCA members unhappy.

There has been no shortage of controversy surrounding the Pike County Animal Shelter.

"Is it as good as it should be? No, but it is certainly better than many many counties have," said Deputy Judge Executive John Doug Hays.

When county officials asked for help managing the shelter the Appalachian SPCA stepped up, but members say it was not easy.

"We were met with a lot of stalling and a lot of double talk that didn't get us anywhere," said Appalachian SPCA President Cindy May Johnson.

Then in a work session called on Friday, the Appalachian SPCA was told the proposal was not accepted.

"I was completely blindsided and confused by the way this all came down. We really only stepped up to answer a plea for help," said Johnson.

Both groups say they want to reduce the shelter's kill rate, and county officials say they decided they can work on that without giving up management.

"To get out of problems is ducking responsibility, and that's the epiphany I had," said Hays.

Pike County officials say they plan to keep running the shelter with the people who are already there, and they say they have set up an advisory board to draw up a specific set of policies and procedures for the shelter.

"I think that's wonderful, and I'm glad they want to do it, but in my experience committees and advisory boards don't have any power," said Johnson.

County officials say the shelter has come a long way, and they plan to keep progressing on their own.

"We want to be good to our animals, but we want to protect people primarily," said Hays.

Officials say the advisory board will have its first meeting after Thanksgiving.

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