Response to James Garner, "Noise and Strays."
Mr. Garner, I agree with you. We should have strict license and spay/neuter regulations with the exceptions that you noted. Humane organizations around the country have promoted this for years, but we still have an extreme overpopulation of domestic animals. The problem is enforcement. Who is going to enforce it, and how?
Bigger buildings do not create homeless animals. Irresponsible people do.
Of course, there are some situations that can't be helped. But, for the most part, we need a bigger shelter because some Payson citizens have failed to take care of, train and spay or neuter their pets. These are healthy, loving animals sitting in overcrowded cages on cold damp concrete with minimal exercise because there is no space. You would bark, too. And, now, because the town has cited the shelter for barking dogs, most of them are subjected to shock collars every time they make a noise.
I was amazed to find out that the town and county contracts combined cover less than 40 percent of the shelter's operating budget. Thousands of volunteer hours per year and endless fund-raising save the town from having to staff its own shelter.
There are some people who think "they should just be killed if there are too many." Somehow, I don't think they were put here to be abused, abandoned and killed.
The Humane Society is trying to raise private funds to build a soundproof shelter so it can be a good neighbor. It's unlikely they will get any grants if the shelter is built on leased land. They need one suitable acre of land. None of us would take our hard-earned money and build a new house on leased land, but this is what the town is telling the humane society it has to settle for.
Payson is a beautiful town filled with nice people. We have awesome parks, a beautiful new library, we are planning a YMCA and a new event center ... we even have pretty new seating areas along the highway ... we can afford to donate one acre of land. At minimum, the town council needs to seriously help the society find an appropriate piece of land to purchase. If you agree, please let the town council know your feelings. It will not happen without your voice.
Diana Parks, Payson