New Clarksville Animal Shelter to match area growth
There’s something about coming home to the unconditional love of a pet every day.
In our own home we have Luigi, a bichon frize, and Gepetto, a Maltese-terrier mix, and they are a joy.
Dogs, cats…whatever types of pets you have in your home, maybe you’ll agree with me when I say they’re part of the family.
Treating them as such is something close to my heart.
We the people exist largely to be guardians of other creatures and their habitats in this circle of life. That’s what I believe.
To do otherwise, or even to mistreat or neglect them, is a grave abdication of basic human responsibility.
A large, progressive and growing urban community like Clarksville-Montgomery County needs to be a leader and set an example in this area.
There are new developments with the planned animal shelter in Montgomery County which, based on what we’ve been told so far, can hopefully help us take a giant step forward and to continue to reduce euthanasia rates while providing comfortable temporary living spaces for pets. which are to be adopted.
After the passage of a new budget for Montgomery County earlier this summer, David Kaske, director of Montgomery County Animal Care & Control, said funds were planned for the design phase of the shelter during the financial year 2022-23.
Even better, a lengthy search of the site led us to what seems to many people to be a logical location for the new animal shelter, on property the county already owns.
There’s a valid argument to be made that this all makes sense in many ways, amid an ongoing county budget crisis.
“The new budget includes $750,000 allocated for the design phase of the new animal shelter,” Kaske said. “We will be working to finalize the design for the new facility this year.”
Lo and behold: the county has implemented a plan to share ownership between the new animal shelter and the planned location for the Clarksville North Branch of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library, at the corner of the 101st Airborne Division. Parkway and Jordan Road.
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The benefit of this plan where the animal shelter and library share ownership, Kaske said, is that it’s potentially a bonus for the two departments to conveniently share customer bases. And maybe even do shared programming.
Perhaps it symbolizes that literacy and sincere care for pets are values that go hand in hand in a civilized and progressive community.
For now, Kaske said the lead architect for the new shelter will be Texas-based Shelter Planners of America, which has expertise in animal shelter design and plans.
They will partner on the project with Clarksville architect Jon Clark. Kaske said the national company had done a similar shelter project in Williamson County.
Emphasis will be placed on community involvement in the design of the Montgomery County Animal Sanctuary, to make it both animal and human friendly. The department will seek your opinion.
The important consideration is this: The new shelter should help the community better manage instances of pet overcrowding, which is a common problem at Clarksville’s existing shelter on Spring Street downtown.
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Like all other functions of local government, Animal Care & Control must take into account the realities of dramatic population growth, including the cost of it.
The challenge is to effectively balance financial realities with the responsibility we have for animals that cannot help themselves.
The county department has also taken on the responsibility of running a separate animal sanctuary at Fort Campbell, combining forces and hopefully streamlining the humane and community management of strays and abandoned pets – and most importantly, successful pet adoptions.
It’s taken a while to get here, but what’s perhaps most heartening is the focus on “animal care,” part of the departmental name for this branch of county government.
Kaske and his team want to live up to that name.
Contact Jimmy Settle at [email protected] or 931-245-0247. To support his work, sign up for a digital subscription to TheLeafChronicle.com.