Leader Blues

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TOP STORY > >Beebe aldermen visit new shelter

By JEFFREY SMITH
Leader staff writer

The Beebe City Council went to the dogs Monday night.

The mayor, aldermen, other elected officials and employees began the evening with a tour of the new city animal shelter at 1401 E. Center St. before heading to city hall.

After visiting the animal shelter, Alderman Harold Welch said, “It is an asset for Beebe to have the animal shelter to house dogs. It is a really nice facility.”

“It was the nicest thing that Beebe has done for people who especially love animals. It is nice,” Alderman Becky Short said.

According to city clerk-treasurer Carol Crump-Westergren, the city has spent approximately $169,000 to build the animal shelter through February.

Beebe was awarded a $20,000 General Improvement Fund grant from the state in 2008 to build the shelter.

A ribbon cutting and open house for the animal shelter is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 17.

Beebe resident Annieta Mann asked for the city to consider amending the city ordinance banning the selling, trading or giving away of dogs at the flea market.

She wanted the city to allow registered dogs with papers to be sold or traded.

Mann said people have sold dogs at the flea market since April 1966. People arrive Saturday at 3 a.m. and stay until 2 p.m.

Dogs sold at the flea market sell from $500 to $1,500. Hunters from as far away as Malvern and Cave City come to Beebe to trade hounds and blue-tick heelers.

“It is a viable source to trade dogs and goods,” Mann said.

“We have no control of people dumping animals days before Saturday,” she continued.

She said abandoned dogs dropped off along the highway wind up at the flea market looking for food.

Mann said the dog traders could work together to self-police the selling and trading of dogs.

She said sellers would need to have health records for the dogs, along with the name and the address of the seller. They should be held accountable for knowing when and how many dogs were sold, she said.

Mayor Mike Robertson said the people who bring boxes filled with free puppies to flea markets are the main problem, not traders or sellers.

Mann asked if there was another way to work with the city other than giving out summonses and stopping the selling and trading of dogs.

The mayor and the city council decided to see how the self-policing of the dog trading and selling worked out before making a formal change.

The council heard ways to find homes for dogs at the shelter. They learned about the adoption rates, policies and fees and how to adopt dogs at the Cabot and Sherwood animal shelters.

Robertson spoke about using the work-release program to help with cleaning at the animal shelter.

He would like to add Saturdays and Sundays to the work-release schedule for people to work off community service hours.

The animal shelter has 35 indoor pens and 35 outdoor pens.

Roberstson also noted that the Beebe Spring Cleanup will be held April 12 to 24.

On those days, residents and businesses can bring trash and debris to the dumpster at the city shop at no charge from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday during the cleanup.

Street department superintendent Milton McCullar said the spring cleanup is not a curbside pickup service.

No tires, roofing materials or liquid paint are allowed to be dropped off.