Not A Who-Done-It, More A What-You-Can-Do

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Sherlock Holmes once deduced the identity of the villain, by noticing that a dog living at the scene of the crime did not bark.

Well, the dogs may be barking now – but there’s no villain in sight.

After weeks of effort, Payson Mayor Kenny Evans has abandoned his effort to talk the Humane Society into moving its proposed animal shelter to a five-acre site overlooking the rodeo grounds.

Timing, as it turns out, really is everything.

We do wish the mayor and the Humane Society had worked something out.

The site Evans offered wasn’t the best place in town for the animal shelter we so urgently need. We would rather have seen it out by the airport, close by all that light industrial zoning.

Still, the roomy five-acre site near the Event Center would have been better than shoe-horning the shelter onto two acres with luxury condos on one side and what the town hopes will become its premier retail center on the other.

But whether the dogs bark – or don’t – you’ll find no villains in this scenario.

The Humane Society represents the best of us, with open-hearted and selfless dedication to castoff and abandoned creatures who deserved a better return on their devotion. We applaud and honor their devotion to the lives for which they have accepted responsibility. And we understand how hard they have worked to find a place to build the shelter those animals – and this community – deserves. They have been shunted from one potential site to another so long, that this flinch away from the offered hand of a seeming benefactor almost makes sense.

We also appreciate Mayor Evans’ energetic and imaginative attempt to benefit both the town and the Humane Society with his last-minute intervention. We wish that someone in town government had taken as strong a position a year ago on behalf of a better site. The shift would have enabled the town to better bolster Main Street while securing the future of the animal shelter.

Granted, Mayor Evans’ impressive reach may have once more exceeded his grasp. He has such a passionate commitment to the community and such a fondness for big ideas that he sometimes leaves the followers he needs back down the road, gasping for breath. But if even half of his great ideas come to pass, the community will have been blessed by his service.

So now the Humane Society must raise $3.5 million in the next few months to build a state-of-the art animal shelter. The plans call for a spay-neuter clinic, soundproofed kennels and a separate area for ill animals. The shelter will benefit all of Rim Country and deserves your enthusiastic, deep-pocket support.

The dogs are barking (but you won’t hear them).

No villains.

No crime.

Just an urgent need.

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