County commissioners signed a contract Monday turning over animal control activities of the county to the Ark Animal Sanctuary effective April 1. Ark has made a commitment to hire Brian Cochran as the director. He was introduced to the commissioners.
“Work is underway to provide training for all employees as well as volunteers,” said Marge Malone, a spokesperson for Ark. “An Ark Animal Sanctuary website is being developed which will contain animal information as well as a blog and Facebook page. Ark’s regular website, arkanimalrescue.weebly.com, will contain links to the sanctuary website so information will be available concerning animals, hours of operation, volunteering, etc. We also will be extending the hours the facility will be open to make it more user-friendly.”
“The county will be saving approximately $20,000 by turning the operation of the shelter over to Ark,” Malone stated. “We hope to be able to make up the difference between what the county pays us and the actual cost of operations by running the shelter more efficiently but will definitely need the support of the community by way of donations, volunteering, assistance with fundraisers, and animal fostering. A list of items needed will be posted on the Ark websites. As of April 1, 2012, all donations and adoption fees will need to be made out to Ark Animal Rescue. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to work with the animals of LaGrange County with the goal of finally having no more homeless or abused animals in LaGrange County. With everyone’s help we think we can go a long way toward accomplishing this.”
Three local officers recently completed a course relating to animal abuse. Certificates were presented to sheriff’s department personnel Brent Houser and Don Faust by Sheriff Terry Martin at the meeting. Malone presented a certificate to John Parish from the office of Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Wible.