Archived Story

It’s a Matter of (Un)fairness

Published 9:35am Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Once upon a time, not so long ago, it was the custom in Polk County for county employees to take stray dogs to the landfill, shoot them and just leave them there.  There are still some (likely among the majority) who think that this is an adequate method to deal with the huge problem of strays and question why we pay FHS for their services.  But others rose up and demanded change, and FHS took over the county’s responsibilities.  What a great job FHS has done.

For some years, Polk County paid FHS a small, inadequate sum for their work on behalf of Polk County.  Then, several years ago, FHS appropriately did a study to determine just how much it costs them to fulfill the county’s legal responsibilities.  FHS did a great job of providing the financial information, and Polk County agreed to pay just what it costs FHS to take care of the strays for the time required by law (only 3 days), even though FHS often keeps the animals much longer when needed to find them forever homes).

But in the last several years, even with the fine spay and neuter program, the problem of strays has gotten worse, and the costs have gone up.  So, FHS again approached the BOC, after several years of no increases in payments, and asked for the amount of money it actually costs them to fulfill the county’s legal responsibilities.  The majority’s answer:  No dice.  Why?  The animals and the people who care about them just aren’t one of the new majority’s favored groups. The majority just doesn’t care about such things or such people.

The majority feels that, rather than Polk County as a whole taking care of its obligations regarding stray animals, the generous donors to FHS can just make up the difference, out of their private pockets.  That’s not right.

The BOC needs to represent ALL of the people of Polk County, and represent them fairly.  Not just their “favorites club.”

- Gary L. Poague, Columbus

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