No Shelter Here

Thursday, August 30, 2012 - 10:24am

Town gives animal shelter one month to find new location after complaints from neighboring businesses.

One month can be a long time, or pass by in a flash.

For the dogs and cats at the Humane Society shelter in Pocahontas, Iowa it could be the time they have left to live.

"The location they're on is in a main street business, where they share common walls with other businesses, isn't an ideal place for storing animals," explains Robert Donahoo, city administrator for Pocahontas.

The city says local residents have filed two nuisance complaints against Poky Animal Shelter, saying it smells like animals and cleansers.

"Because they are a charitable organization and they do good things here in the community, we have tried to be more flexible allowing them more time," said Donahoo.

The shelter received its first notification in April, and a second in June.

Council members say the odor is because there are so many animals.

"The numbers to us aren't the issue, because we are below code, we are below what's authorized," said Pam Orr, co-director of the shelter.

She says they've been talking about relocating with a land owner in nearby Havelock.

"We continue to hear the same thing, it's come to the point now where it's either going to happen or it's not," said Donahoo.

Orr says she has a handshake agreement in place with the land owner, but the space isn't ready yet.

"The shelter asked for an extension until the end of the year to change locations, but now they face a deadline of October 1st to move all of the animals out.

"We have no intentions of missing the deadline," said Orr.

As that date approaches, the shelter still needs about $15,000, to move the animals out and fix the new site.

"If we're stressed, you know, with what's going on, the animals can tell and they're more disruptive. They tip over the water, their food and it makes more work for us," said Orr.

Donahoo says he hopes it works out for both sides.

"We have to respect and protect and work for everybody. So, it's not frustrating, it's just the process it is," he says.

The shelter could face fines of up to $500 each day they go beyond the deadline.

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