By David McLain
Several people expressed their opinions about the transfer of the animal shelter from the Humane Society to the city of Waco at the Waco City Council meeting Tuesday.
A three-minute time slot, referred to as the Hearing of Visitors, is designated for any citizen to address the city council on any subject relating to city business.
Many of the speakers shared their disagreement with the 72-hour policy regarding euthanization of animals in the shelter after the transfer occurs.
Sharon Bracken, lecturer in the journalism, public relations and new media department at Baylor, said the council is not being clear about its plans for the shelter.
“My concern is not that the city is taking over the shelter,” Bracken said. “My concern is that the city does not have a plan.”
Bracken said the way people treat other people and animals is what makes a community work.
West resident Daniela Ranzinger said she was concerned about being unable to adopt animals through the shelter after the transfer.
“I would like for that to be able to continue in Waco,” Ranzinger said. “It’s not that the city of Waco doesn’t have money to fund these projects, but just wants to use it to fund tourism.”
Waco resident Ann Davey said there are people willing to support the animal shelter, so adoptions should still be allowed.
“We really do realize the situation with you and the humane society is a complex problem,” Davey said.
“The decision to euthanize all these animals is simply not acceptable. It would be a terrible blight on the city of Waco.”
A recently created electronic petition letter on change.org, called “Petitioning City of Waco,” is raising awareness about the city’s 72 hour hold policy and is advocating the right to life of these animals currently held at the shelter.
There were people present at the meeting who were not opposed to the transfer of operations from the Humane Society to the city.
Eddy resident Kim Bolton said she has had issues with the shelter the past several months, but she was not opposed to the transfer to the city of Waco.
“We need the city’s help as well,” Bolton said. “I can rescue every animal I come across, but that is a small percentage.”
The Humane Society of Central Texas will transfer operations of the animal shelter located at 2032 Circle Rd. to the city of Waco on Oct. 1. The transfer is a result of the two parties’ inability to reach a contract agreement, as the Lariat previously reported.
The city announced the new arrangement with the Humane Society on Sept. 7.
The announcement was issued after the Humane Society of Central Texas requested the city increase their annual funds from $300,000 to $375,000. The city denied the request.
“I think there has been a lot of misinformation and misperception,” Waco Mayor Malcolm Duncan said. “We are not taking over the Humane Society. We are engaged in negotiations with the Humane Society.”