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SALEM Humane Society looks for a home



Published: Fri, August 31, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The animal shelter stopped accepting dogs and cats because of noise complaints and financial issues.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

SALEM -- The population at an animal shelter is dropping since the facility stopped accepting stray dogs and cats more than two weeks ago.

As of Thursday, there were about 35 dogs and 15 cats remaining at the Salem Area Humane Society shelter along U.S. Route 62 in Perry Township, west of Salem.

Those numbers are down from about 50 dogs and nearly 25 cats that were at the shelter Aug. 15, said society president Mary Lou Popa.

The private, nonprofit shelter stopped accepting animals because it was asked by Columbiana County Prosecutor's Office and Perry Township trustees to reduce the dog population there.

The dogs' barking has sparked complaints from those living near the shelter.

Since the facility also is strapped for cash, a decision also was made to stop accepting cats as well as dogs. The animals are being removed from the shelter by adopting them out, Popa said.

Reducing noise: She added that she thinks having fewer canines at the shelter is reducing the noise problem.

One problem the facility continues to face, however, is that of people coming to the shelter after it's closed and dropping off strays outside the building.

"There's no way we have of stopping that," Popa said.

If the shelter succeeds in adopting out all its dogs and cats, Popa said she's uncertain whether it will close. "It's always a possibility," she said.

The humane society is hopeful that it can find a new location for its shelter, one that's far enough away from homes that barking won't disturb anyone, Popa said.

The agency is interested in purchasing a nearly 3.6-acre lot along Pennsylvania Avenue near Allen Road, adjacent to the city's sewage treatment plant.

Popa hopes city council will decide at its Tuesday meeting that it wants to sell the property.

Can't vote: A 1st Ward councilwoman, Popa will be banned by council rules from voting on such a measure.

If the land is put up for sale, it must be sold to the highest bidder. The law prohibits council from limiting the offer to the humane society. A value for the property hasn't been established.

Asked how the cash-strapped humane society could afford to buy land and build a shelter, Popa said, without elaborating, that "there could be a couple of sources."

leigh@vindy.com




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