County looks into dog shelter

GREENVILLE — The Auglaize County Commissioners and county Dog Warden Russ Bailey traveled to Greenville Tuesday to check out the Darke County Dog Shelter facility as they explore options to construct a building in Auglaize County.

Darke County Dog Warden Duane Sanning took the group on a tour of the 8,200-square foot facility that includes approximately 1,000 foot of office space.

Auglaize County officials have been exploring a direction to take to pay for the facility after seeking bids for a facility. The last bid for the project came in at $539,000 for 2,400-square foot facility, a price tag the commissioners were unable to fit in the budget.

Bailey said while the need is there, financing the project simply poses a problem as the shelter is expected to be self-sufficient.

“Everything we pay for comes out of dog tag sales — salaries, dog food, supplies, everything,” Bailey said.

Bailey said in a county comparable in size to Auglaize County, there are typically between 7,000 to 10,000 dog tags issued each year. Through June of this year, Auglaize County only had 6,400, which was the highest total since Bailey, a former deputy, took over the dog warden post in 2008. However, those numbers are quickly approaching 7,000, Bailey said.

Bailey’s office has kicked it into high gear, hiring a tag enforcement officer who has been in the job for approximately two weeks and is making inroads on getting residents to meet their legal requirement of licensing their pets.

Time is money lost, as the Darke County facility bid at $325,000 when construction began in 2000, more than $200,000 below the bid for the Auglaize County facility which would be approximately one-fourth its size.

The Darke County facility had 47 kennels, 14 puppy cages and a small area for cats. Bailey said the county is looking to build the most basic of buildings, a block building that would contain 24 kennels. The county’s Dog and Kennel Fund would contribute approximately $200,000 to the cost of the building, leaving the commissioners to seek a way to come up with approximately $330,000 to come up with the build the building.

In the past, the commissioners said they do not intend to scale down the project any more than they already have, especially on maintenance items. They believe this would help make upkeep easier and help with making the building last longer.

The commissioners checked out several of the drainage and cleaning practices at the Darke County facility for cost-saving measures to implement at a new facility in Auglaize County.

The already-approved site for the new building will be located along U.S. 33 near the Auglaize County Fairgrounds directly behind the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office.