By Ed Runyan
Seven months after the Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County announced it would take over the housing of dogs from the Trumbull County Dog Kennel, the move is still in the negotiations stage.
The plan laid out by the league in May calls for the county dog kennel’s staff to work from an office in the league’s future home in the former indoor and outdoor softball facility called the Thunderplex in Vienna.
The AWL purchased the building on state Route 193 across from Squaw Creek Country Club in March.
At a budget hearing this month, Gwen Logan, executive county dog warden, asked county commissioners to consider spending $4,000 to provide a fenced area for dogs to exercise at the county dog kennel’s existing facility on Anderson Avenue Northeast in Howland.
An exercise area on available space next to the dog kennel would give dogs that are especially active a fighting chance of being adopted, Logan said.
Without adequate exercise, some dogs appear too hyperactive when prospective owners come to view them, Logan said.
The kennel needs a $35,000 addition built that would provide space for puppies, dog intake and medical care, she said. The separation of dogs is necessary to keep the new dogs from infecting the other dogs.
Logan said it will be difficult to begin micro-chipping dogs and having rabies clinics without the addition.
Logan said the projects are “ready to roll” as soon as the commissioners give the OK.
When commissioners asked Logan about the merger with the AWL, Logan said, “I don’t see that happening anytime soon.”
Afterward, Logan and Commissioner Frank Fuda said negotiations are in progress with the league, and no specific time frame for a merger has been established.
Logan said discussions will involve the assistant prosecuting attorney who advises the county commissioners, as well as her and the commissioners, but she is not convinced the merger is a certainty.
Legal issues need to be worked out on the costs and responsibilities for the county and the AWL.
“I’ve been here two years, and it’s always been gonna, gonna happen,” Logan said of the merger.
Barbara Busko, president of the AWL, agreed that certain issues need to be worked out, such as “reasonable compensation” to the league for caring for the dogs the county kennel now keeps.
Repairs have been made to the roof and other parts of the Animal Welfare League’s new building, and the organization is in the bidding process for other renovations. “We hope to be in the building by August if all goes well,” Busko said, adding that she would expect the county dog kennel staff to move in at about that time.
Logan, meanwhile, says she doesn’t want to remain at the existing dog kennel for long without more space.
“We’re beyond out of room,” Logan said. “If we’re going to be in the building another year, I would like at least an exercise area.”
Busko says she believes by one year from now, the dog kennel staff will be in the building.
County commissioners invested money in the dog kennel several years ago after receiving complaints over the kill rate and other issues.
“Things are going well down there,” Fuda said of the dog kennel. “I haven’t had a call in a couple of years.”