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Republic opens new animal control center to the public, saving taxpayer dollars

Published: Sep. 19, 2020 at 8:37 PM CDT
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REPUBLIC, Mo. (KY3) - The city of Republic is opening its new animal control center to the public after months of construction. The new facility can hold more than twice the amount of animals as the old facility.

“We can literally save twice as many animals and house them here," volunteer Donna Watson says. "It’s not a kill shelter as some people may think, you know, all the animals here are being adopted out or re-homed so the more animals she can take here it’s gonna save a lot more lives.”

Some features of the new center include a fenced in area for dogs, veterinary care services and an adoption center. The old shelter was much smaller, which meant it filled to capacity easier. Because of this, animals had to be transferred to a shelter in Joplin.

“Last year we were going like every week or every other week," animal control director, Christine Elmore, says. "This year, nowhere near that, like there are times I didn’t go for two months.”

This cost taxpayers $55 per animal, totaling about $15,000 each year.

“With us being able to hold them in a bigger facility, we’re not spending that taxpayer money in fuel, my hourly wages and then the cost of the animal to take down there," Elmore says.

The $1.1 million project was approved from the 1/4- cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax in 2017. Elmore says she’s excited for what else the center can offer the community in the future with the additional space.

“We’d like to do maybe a barn cat program for the feral cats," Elmore says. "Maybe do a rabies clinics once a year or twice a year just to help the citizens of republic get their animals vaccinated.”

The city’s animal control department processes more than 500 lost/found animals every year and that number continues to increase every year.

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