After reading Mr. Dade’s Opinion letter in the September 4, 2013 issue of the West Life, and the editor’s note that followed said letter, the Friends of the Bay Village Kennel (FOBVK) would like to point out a few things that may not be known to many members of our community.
Members of the FOBVK met with Mayor Sutherland and another city representative in June of 2011 to discuss possibilities for the kennel and its operation. While the meeting seemed encouraging, the mayor did not offer a “proposal” at that time, instead remarking that it looked like the city and FOBVK could work together at an appropriate site within the city. One week later, to the day, city administration eliminated the position of Animal Control Officer and, in essence, closed the kennel. Since then, dogs are admitted, but only for a short stay until they can be picked up by the county kennel, or returned to their owners. The kill rate at the county is high. Cats are not permitted in the Bay kennel.
FOBVK attended a city council meeting on October 3, 2011, and read a letter, addressed to city administration, in which FOBVK offered to help manage the kennel, on a voluntary basis, in cooperation with a city liaison, and that FOBVK had secured funding from an anonymous donor for the construction of a new kennel. If anyone would like to read the letter, or to read other articles on this issue, refer to FOBVK website, http://friendsofbayvillagekennel.com FOBVK did not receive a response to this letter or a proposal from the mayor or city administration until the November, 2012 city council meeting in which the Mayor flatly refused to publicly discuss the new “proposal,” which was outlined in Bruce Geiselman’s subsequent Plain Dealer article of December 13, 2012. FOBVK did not understand this stance as this issue is clearly one of public interest and public safety.
FOBVK would like to reiterate that it cannot lease property and manage the kennel. This is clearly a city responsibility. Animal control is, as it should be, an important part of administering a city like Bay Village and providing service to its residents. FOBVK is still very interested in funding a new kennel’s construction and in volunteering time to assist with its management and operation. FOBVK further feels that a public discussion on this matter is required, private meetings are not in the public interest.
FOBVK hopes that this helps to clarify any misunderstandings on this issue. FOBVK will continue to use its graciously donated funds to help care for recovered animals and to help with medications, spaying and neutering, vetting and in attempting to find adoptive homes for these animals. The primary contact, however, is the Bay Village police department, should an animal be recovered and need shelter or veterinary care.
Tom Kauker, FOBVK
Plymouth Drive, Bay Village
449-899-1607 (response requested as to publishing date)