Skip to content

City pound needs improvements

The Bonne Terre Animal Control Shelter, located on the city barn property next to the city’s Sports Complex, is in need of repairs and upgrades.

Bonne Terre Animal Control Officer Chris Skaggs said an inspector from the Department of Agriculture came out to inspect the small cinder block facility recently and it was determined the city needs to make a few changes and additions to the building.

“We have plywood panels on the inside of the building that can be opened and closed and they want similar panels built on the outside where they can be raised and lowered,” said Skaggs. “We also need an outside run where the dogs can get exercise.”

The building itself has two solid concrete walls and the front and right side wall of the building has half walls and chain link fencing so it can be opened up on warm days. Right now the wood panels are down and tarps are hung on the outside to keep the cold winds out of the facility. A large heater rumbled in the background pushing out heat to keep the temporary residents warm.

As Skaggs reached down and pets Zeus, a pitbull mix who is currently residing in the shelter, he said anything the public wants to donate would be greatly appreciated. Items they could always use include blankets, food for both cats and dogs, treats, collars, harnesses, leashes and cat litter (he has enough litter for now).

“Right now I only have one cat and one dog, but before I was buying about 100 pounds of dog food each week,” said Skaggs. “Last year we had more than 80 animals that came through the facility. Some of them were adopted, some of them were picked up by their owners. All of them went to rescue and we didn’t have any euthanized.”

Skaggs explained that all of the adoptions are handled through the Farmington Rescue Friends page on Facebook and his wife plays a big part in that.

“She is more computer savvy than I am, so she is a big help,” chuckled Skaggs. “My wife helps with the networking and she gets ahold of my rescue people for me since I also do work for the city. As far as my cats go, I work with a lady in Jefferson County who does all my cat rescues. She gets everything set up for me when I tell her I have a cat in and she works hard to find somebody to come pick them up to get them to a rescue.”

One thing the shelter is missing that is considered very important is a microchip reader. Many pets are micro-chipped and the microchip contains a registration number and the phone number of the registry for the particular brand of chip.

A handheld scanner reads the radio frequency of the chip and displays this information on the scanner. An animal shelter or vet clinic that finds someone’s pet can contact the registry to get their name and phone number. Without having scanner, the shelter doesn’t know who the owner may be and it makes it harder to locate the pet’s family, if they are in fact micro-chipped.

“If I had one I could scan the dogs and see who their owners are, it would make it a lot easier,” stressed Skaggs. “My wife and I will buy bags of treats for the dogs to keep them happy, especially when we have a bunch of dogs in here. It keeps them from barking so much when we have a full house.”

Skaggs said they have a limited supply of collars because the dogs don’t have a collar unless they come in with one, but he has a few that came in with some donations.

“I also have bought a few harnesses for when the lady from FRF comes in to take their pictures,” said Skaggs. “I will walk them out into the field so she can photograph them. I also try to exercise them as much as possible.”

Skaggs not only handles the animal control duties, but he also works with the Bonne Terre water and sewer department.

“I have been doing this for three years and I am doing the best I can to take care of the animals that come through here,” said Skaggs. “I didn’t ask to do this, it just kind of fell into my lap.”

Skaggs said in the past the building was considered an outside facility, but now it’s being debated on whether it is an outside or inside facility.

“If it becomes an inside facility, then I will have to make sure it has adequate air ventilation,” explained Skaggs. “Also I will have to make sure it is heated and cooled. It can’t get over 85 degrees in the summer and lower than 50 degrees in the winter time.”

Anyone who interested in making a donation to the shelter can bring it by the city barn next to the Bonne Terre Sports Complex or contact city hall for more information.

The Bonne Terre Animal Control has a constant flow of animals through their facility.

The Bonne Terre Animal Control has a constant flow of animals through their facility.

The outside of the animal control building has tarps hung up to help keep cold winds out of the building when temperatures drop.

The outside of the animal control building has tarps hung up to help keep cold winds out of the building when temperatures drop.

After a recent inspection at the Bonne Terre Animal Control Shelter, it was determined that some renovations and additional space was needed in order to be in compliance.

After a recent inspection at the Bonne Terre Animal Control Shelter, it was determined that some renovations and additional space was needed in order to be in compliance.

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

Leave a Comment