Several protestors voice concern about Bolivar, Mo., pound’s euthanasia policy

Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 5:51 PM CDT
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BOLIVAR, Mo. (KY3) - Dozens of protestors are expected Monday night to gather outside a city candidate forum at Southern Baptist University in Bolivar.

People are upset about a city policy saying animals at the Bolivar pound for more than 60 days should be put down.

The policy came as a bit of a shock to the Humane Society in Polk County. People there say they often work with the pound and were blindsided by this new revelation of the policy. They tell KY3 they’re worried for the ten dogs in the pound, but the city says there’s nothing to worry about.

”We would like to try to understand where they’re coming from,” said Marcie Rogers board member of the Polk County Humane Society. “It could be a monetary, you know, a financial responsibility to the city. It could be any number of things. It could just be a lack of education on the quality of life of animals that are in pounds and shelters because there’s a huge misconception that these animals are miserable.”

The policy says after 60 days at the Bolivar pound, animals could be euthanized. But the police chief says that has always been the case. ”It hasn’t changed,” said the Bolivar Police Chief Mark Webb. “It’s just been published.”

Chief Webb says not only has this been the policy for ten years, but the police have also been in charge of the Bolivar pound. He says there is a misconception about what the policy means.

”It’s not like it’s set in stone where you’re going to go 60 days in one minute,” said Chief Webb. “We’re going to euthanize, no, it’s we’ll reevaluate it 60 days, we’ll wait and again, hopefully, someone will come up.”

He says that evaluation comes from a vet or a trained professional looking for signs of sickness. If they find the dog to be aggressive or sick that’s when euthanasia comes into the conversation.

“I can’t speak for the town of Bolivar, but I do know many of the citizens are outraged especially because this was not bought brought before the city council as a vote,” said Rogers. “And I believe they would just like to have a say in the matter regarding the health of these animals.”

The folks at the humane society say they want people to be informed but courteous.

”I think the most important thing is just let your voice be heard,” said Rogers. “Let’s keep it as civil as possible because we’re all here for the animals. That is our goal at Polk County Humane Society, our staff and the animal control officers in Bolivar are fantastic. And we want to be able to support each other. We just want to make sure that the citizens are aware of what’s going on.”

The meeting at SBU is at seven Monday night. at McClelland dining hall. And though it’s supposed to be a forum where alderman candidates up for election get a chance to answer voters’ questions, now several people with the humane society say they are showing up to ask questions and voice their concerns about the animals.

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