Reasons why I favor Contracting with the Humane Society

As many of you already know, for the past few months I have been advocating entering into a contract with the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri to take unwanted animals to.

The following is just one more reason why I think contracting with the Humane Society would be a good idea.


“Charleston, MO
Charleston police chief in dog house over problems at dog pound

Posted: March 16, 2009 05:55 PM CDT

Updated: March 16, 2009 09:16 PM CDT

By CJ Cassidy

CHARLESTON, MO (KFVS) – A local animal rescue group says their eye-opening investigation could put Charleston City leaders in the hot seat.

In the wake of that investigation, Charleston Police shut down the city pound.

Members of the SEMO Animal Rescue Group say they saw the most horrific conditions inside the city operated dog pound and they decided to do something about it.

Now the chief of police, who oversees the pound finds himself in the dog house, and folks Heartland News spoke with say his efforts to make amends come a little too late.

Here’s what members of the group say about conditions inside the pound:

“They were horrendous. They were soaking in their urine, two small dogs were in the cage together covered in feces.”

Alanna Downey heads the group, and says she posted the photographs she took online, raising cries of protests from animal lovers across the country.

“There were multiple slabs of meat in the large dogs cage. Raw meat. They had a bluish purple tint to some of them,” Downey said.

“We feed the dogs dog food. But we have been giving them raw meat on and off for years as a treat,” Police Chief Robert Hearnes said. 

For now the pound is empty, shut down pending an investigation by the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Authorities there say the city did not have a license to operate the pound and that is a violation of state law.

Another Charleston resident says it’s about time someone’s stepping up to speak up for the animals.

He says he found his dog in a pit, one day after the animal went missing.

“He had been shot,” Jesse Alexander said. “You could see scratch marks where they throwed the dog in the hole and shot him.”

Chief Hearnes said earlier in the day the city buried the dogs they shot.  However he would not return calls to confirm if the junk pit Heartland News found is where the dogs are tossed into, but we did spot two partially burned dog carcasses inside.

Alanna Downey says that’s the kind of problem she hopes to change.

“The chief of police is being put in the spotlight and he’s got to account for what he’s done,” Downey said. “To say he didn’t know what was going on, I don’t believe that for a second. If he didn’t know, how is he running this city?”

The Humane Society of Missouri in St. Louis came in and placed the other dogs at the pound, at nearby shelters.  They say Chief Hearnes has been more than willing to work with them.

Authorities at the Missouri Department of Agriculture say once they wrap up their investigation it will be up to the Mississippi County prosecutor to decide whether to file charges against the city.

Under Missouri law, those who operate shelters, pounds, kennels must euthanize animals under guidelines governed by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The law says they also have to provide their animals with proper shelter, food and healthcare, as well as pay an annual license fee and be subject to inspections at least once a year.

They must also hold the dogs for at least five days before deciding what to do with them.”

First of all, I want to stress that the City of Marble Hill is not shooting dogs. That being said, the days of having a simple “Dog Pound” are over, I think contracting with the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri, would mean better care for the animals, a better chance of adoption for the animals, and save the City alot of headaches in the future.

What are your thoughts?

Please leave a comment and let me know. -Alderman Lacy 

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5 Responses to “Reasons why I favor Contracting with the Humane Society”

  1. Mary Says:

    I do not believe that Marble Hill has the resources or the personnel to operate an animal pound. I have to wonder why some are against contracting with the Humane Society, when it appears to be logical and cost-effective.

  2. Alderman Lacy Says:


    It doesn’t look like we’ll be contracting with the Humane Society. It appears that the City has decided to go with Alderman McCain’s plan and make improvements to the pound.

    I received an email from Mayor Masterson that states:

    “To bring you up to speed on our dog pound.We had a pre-license ispection last Thurs. by Greg Tidwell from the state ,he said our pound was better than those he has seen in bigger towns than Marble Hill,he gave us a few things that needed to be done. Nothing major and that he would be back the latter part of this week to inspect again. I think we will have our license in hand next week. Thanks for all you’ve done to alleviate our animal situation.”

    I’ll be honest, keeping the pound isn’t what I wanted, but at least improvements are being made and the City will soon be licensed and taking care of the animals “by the book” so to speak.

  3. Rena Says:

    Glad improvements are being made and the city will get the license–I hate it when Marble Hill is on KFVS with the ‘bad things’ wrong with our city. I believe that the city employees could share the responsibility of the pound. Maybe the city could get a school group to volunteer with the project. FFA might be a good organization to help if the city insurance permits it. Do we have a dog catcher? Last thing I heard was we no longer had one in the city.

  4. aldermanlacy Says:


    A dog catcher is in the works. The City can not work with a group unless it is licensed as well, but I think that will happen in the near future as well.

  5. Mary Says:

    Still think contracting with Cape is the more cost-effective choice. So many things in MH need taken care of, but we’re rather consistently told that we don’t have the man-power, finances, etc., to correct everything. Therefore, adding more responsibilities and (as far as I can see) and expenses do not seem justifiable when there is an alternative.

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