UPDATED 6-10: RUSSELLVILLE — As the new director of the Logan County Humane Society, Tracy Moser’s first priority is funding a new building.

A shelter specialist and a construction manager agree the current facility would cost too much to bring up to standards. In two separate reports, those experts say accessibility and drainage issues in the county-owned building, as well as bug and rodent infestations, make the existing property irredeemable.

At a Logan County Fiscal Court meeting Tuesday, magistrates agreed to let the humane society pursue bids for a new facility.

The county and the humane society would split the cost.

A new facility would save money in the long run because “it would cost less to run,” Moser said.

At the meeting Tuesday, Lorri Hare, director of the Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society, estimated a new facility could cost $450,000 to $500,000. Logan staff and members of the board of directors are pursuing grants and donations – monetary and labor/materials – to construct the building.

Hare said she has a record of stretching “every single dollar as far as it will stretch.

“The people in this (Logan County) facility are ready to do that same thing,” she said.

The Bowling Green society and Moser have helped oversee Logan’s facility since the former director resigned in April amid scrutiny for overpopulation and poor conditions.

“Let’s do it right this time,” 5th District Magistrate Jo Orange said of the plans.

Sixth District Magistrate Thomas Bouldin agreed, saying it’s the county’s responsibility to provide a safe, functioning building.

“It costs what it costs,” he said. “It’s our obligation. I’m committed. I think the wheels are turning in the right way.”

Craig McAllester, a shelter specialist from Lancaster, Pa., consulted with the Logan humane society on its facility in May. He previously worked with the Bowling Green society.

He said the house serving as the Logan humane society’s office has structural problems and doesn’t comply with accessibility requirements.

The entrance to the wheelchair access ramp at the facility is blocked by a fence.

Additionally, the kennels weren’t built with the specific needs of housing animals in mind, McAllester said.

“These buildings are wet on the inside all the time,” he said in May. “Getting water out quickly is key to keeping air healthy.”

The shelter doesn’t adequately remove water, he said, and the walls and concrete are too porous, allowing them to hold filth that harbors disease.

“I think the money to repair this building ... would be greater than replacing it,” he said.

David Bernado, construction manager of Rafferty’s in Bowling Green, also thinks improving the current facility wouldn’t be worthwhile.

Bernado constructed the Bowling Green facilities and, so far, has volunteered his time advising and planning for Logan’s facility. He brought preliminary drawings to Fiscal Court today depicting “a simple facility” similar to the adoption center at the Bowling Green humane society.

From his experience constructing restaurants, plans to improve an existing building usually cost as much or more than replacing it because of “unforeseen conditions.”

It’s likely the new facility would be constructed in place of the old one, requiring the Logan society to temporarily house dogs and cats elsewhere during construction, Hare said.

In that case, animals would be relocated to other shelters and Bowling Green’s society would take over the Logan County contract for the three to four months of construction, Moser said.

Construction would likely start in the fall. Moser hopes to relocate the animals before winter.

A new director

Moser officially became the new Logan County Humane Society director last week, she said, but she’s acted in that role since she stepped up to help in April.

The owner of RePets in Bowling Green, Moser has a history of animal welfare work with an emphasis on spay/neuter education and fundraising.

RePets closed for repairs to its ceiling, which collapsed in February during a winter storm. Repairs should be completed by now but haven’t even started, she said.

Now she will postpone reopening the store until the humane society gets “on its feet.”

While the new building is her first priority, a work spay/neuter program is a close second. She hopes to eventually reopen RePets in Russellville to offer spay/neuter vouchers to Logan County residents.

The humane society received a $1,000 grant from the HOPE Low Cost Spay Neuter Clinic in Versailles, which will provide spay/neuter vouchers to Logan County pitbull owners, Moser said.

She plans to improve education in Logan County to reduce the dog overpopulation problem.

“My heart and soul is spay/neuter,” Moser said.

First district magistrate Dickie Carter said the dog population needs to be addressed in the county.

“Our problem on the court is to get the dogs taken care of,” he said Tuesday.

Hare, who has helped with staff hiring and training at the Logan society since April, said Moser “is doing a great job in day to day” operations at the shelter.

The shelter has 86 dogs and cats – 14 of which are in foster care. Out of 43 dogs, 12 are there because of pending court cases and aren’t adoptable until a judge rules. Some were abandoned and some are bite cases, Moser said.

The shelter housed more than 120 dogs when Moser started helping in April, just before the former director resigned. At the time, Moser said the shelter should aim for a capacity of 40 dogs to leave room to comfortably receive 10 intakes.

She said many in the community have been supportive of the effort to improve the shelter during the last two months.

Some were worried about who would become the new director. She said she told them, “We’ve got it under control.”

“Because this county has such small intake, it’s really a piece of cake,” she said.

— For more information on the Logan County Humane Society, visit adoptlchs.org.

RUSSELLVILLE — Logan County magistrates agreed to let the Logan County Humane Society pursue bids for a new facility to replace one that a shelter specialist and a construction manager agree would cost too much to bring up to standards.

In two separate reports, experts say accessibility and drainage issues in the county-owned building, as well as bug and rodent infestations, make the existing property irredeemable.

The county and the humane society would split the cost of a replacing it. Replacing the building would save money in the long run, Lorri Hare, director of the Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society, told magistrates.

The Bowling Green society has helped oversee Logan's facility since the former director resigned in April amid scrutiny for overpopulation and poor conditions.

Hare estimated a new facility could cost $450,000 to $500,000. Logan staff and members of the board of directors plan to pursue grants and donations – monetary and labor/materials – to construct the building.

"Let's do it right this time," 5th district Magistrate Jo Orange said of the plans.

Sixth district magistrate Thomas Bouldin agreed, saying it's the county's responsibility to provide a safe, functioning building.

"It costs what it costs," he said. "It's our obligation. I'm committed. I think the wheels are turning in the right way."

David Bernado, construction manager of Rafferty's in Bowling Green, brought preliminary drawings to Fiscal Court today depicting "a simple facility," similar to the adoption center at the Bowling Green humane society.

Bernado constructed the Bowling Green facilities and, so far, has volunteered his time advising and planning for Logan's facility.

It's likely the new facility would be constructed in place of the old one, requiring the Logan society to temporarily house dogs and cats elsewhere during construction, Hare said.

In that case, Bowling Green would take over the Logan County contract and care for the animals, she said. Construction would have to wait until the end of fall when her dog and cat populations are low enough to handle the extra pets.

— Follow Taryn Phaneuf on Twitter at twitter.com/tarynphaneuf or visit bgdailynews.com.

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