Aerial image of the Western Arizona Humane Society in Kingman, AZ. (Photo: Draco Aerial Solutions)
KINGMAN — Stray animals in Mohave County will get a $2 million new home, thanks to the Mohave County Board of Supervisors.
In a 3-to-2 vote, Monday, the supervisors agreed that a new facility is needed to house the county’s stray, lost, unwanted and feral animals. Voting for the appropriation were Supervisors Jean Bishop, Gary Watson and Hildy Angius. Supervisors Buster Johnson and Ron Gould voted against it.
Bishop said it’s time to get an adequate shelter in Mohave County. She explained that Mohave County Risk Management wrote and submitted a report on some of the problems associated with the current shelter.
According to the report, some of the findings include the floor cracking and sinking in the office, rotten exterior wood, an inaccessible new cat shed for handicapped visitors and the animal waste being funneled into a common drain, which can spread disease. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also has concerns about the employees and visitors needing earplugs to drown out the noise of barking dogs and loud trains that pass by the shelter.
Johnson said he supported the county building an animal control building, but not a shelter.
“Our job, and the best use of our money, is to build an animal control building and let the public handle what should be their responsibility,” said Johnson.
The community rallied together at the supervisors meeting to support the county’s investment in a new shelter.
Penelope Townsend, a Kingman resident, petitioned the board to not waste another two years. Townsend is active in the animal community and has spoken strongly in favor of animal welfare and safety.
“The shelter down by the railroad tracks isn’t a good environment for the staff and animals,” said Townsend. “Don’t think people are going to forget this, because we’re not. Let’s get this motion passed with a big yea.”
Lisa Snyder, the previous shelter manager, spoke up for the animals. “This needs to be changed, not only for the safety of our animals, but also for the safety of our staff,” said Snyder. “We do need a new building for employee safety, animal control safety and for the animals.”
After some tweaks, Bishop finally proposed a motion that satisfied the board. The motion was to designate, not to exceed $2 million from the capital project’s fund for the construction or remodel/addition of a Mohave County shelter.
“We will direct staff to move forward with the site selection and design process for the supervisors’ final approval,” said Bishop.
Watson provided a second for the motion, and the board voted in favor of a new animal shelter.
A special meeting will take place later this week to discuss whether the county will take control of the shelter or allow the Western Arizona Humane Society to manage it. No time or date has been set yet, but will be announced on the county’s website at www.mohavecounty.us/.