Jeff Jarrell, Dexter animal control officer, said the building has 17 individual kennels. Each kennel can hold two dogs. The facility opened two weeks ago and was a big improvement at the city animal shelter. The old building is being used to house cats. Stray dogs and cats picked up by Jarrell are housed at the shelter.
Jarrell is busy trying to find homes for the 26 dogs now housed at the shelter. Several dogs have just been picked up and must be held for a set period of time before being put up for adoption. Two of the newest additions are a Great Pyrenees and a Labrador. Both are very friendly and accustomed to being around people. Jarrell thinks they belong to someone, since the the Lab has a collar with no identification, and hopes that the owner will contact him.
On Monday there was an assortment of dogs, including several Labradors and Lab mixes. There was also a miniature Yorkie mix, a terrier mix and a German Shepherd mix.
Jarrell became the animal control officer for Dexter two years ago. When he started in the position, he realized that a better facility was needed to house the stray animals. The operating budget for animal control in 2009 is $5,000. There were no funds for a building program.
The city has an ordinance requiring all cats and dogs to be on leashes. Fines collected from violations of this ordinance go into the general revenues of the city. Animal Control is part of the city Police Department.
Mayor Joe Weber, City Administrator Mark Stidham and city aldermen this year built into the budget $40,000 to construct the new building at the Animal Shelter. An outside sub-contractor was hired to do the concrete work and city workers did the plumbing, eletrical and helped with construction of the building. Trevor and Tim Pulley also worked on erecting the metal building.
Jarrell is proud of the new facility which provides much more room and a better environment for the animals. The building has a concrete floor with built-in floor grates for easy cleaning.
The facility stays near capacity.
Jarrell hopes those seeking to add a pet to the family at Christmas will consider adopting one of the dogs at the animal shelter. There is a wide variety of dogs, including puppies, who appear to be starving for some attention and a good home.