Lyon animal shelter must improve, report says |

Lyon animal shelter must improve, report says

Dave Frank

The Lyon County animal shelter needs to take steps to be safer and more accessible, according to the Lyon County Animal Control Advisory Board.

The animal board gave county commissioners the recommendations last week. The recommendations came after the board discussed concerns about a Storey County family who said their dog was put in a Lyon County kennel with three pitbulls and attacked. Lyon County staff say the shelter did nothing wrong.

The animal board said the shelter should:

• Clearly mark a dog kennel that is already occupied

• Be open seven days a week instead of five

• Change its after-hours phone system so a caller is given an emergency number or is re-routed to an emergency dispatcher

• Establish a reliable, on-call schedule for after-hours emergencies

Willis Lamm, vice-chairman of the animal board, said county staff seem like they are willing to make some changes to the shelter.

The shelter has already put large signs on Storey County’s two kennels that show whether a kennel is occupied, he said.

Lamm said county staff have also told him the shelter’s phone system will be changed.

“It appears at this point that the county is interested in addressing some of the issues we raised,” he said.

But Lamm said he is concerned that the shelter might not start to provide weekend and after-hours service as soon as it should.

Dennis Stark, county manager, said the report is “constructive” and the shelter will review it.

“Generally, I think it was a well-thought-out document with good comments and suggestions,” he said.

The county was already looking at ways to improve the shelter before the report came out, however, he said.

Phyllis Hunewill, head of the county commission, said she is glad the animal board and county staff and talking about how to improve the shelter.

“I see nothing but a work in progress there,” she said. “They’re working together and that’s the way it should go.”

Larry McPherson, commission vice-chairman, said he’s going to give the shelter a chance to improve without the commission getting involved.

But the shelter has needed to improve for a long time, he said. He called the shelter’s opinion that it was not responsible for the Storey County dog’s injuries “bullcrap.”

McPherson said he’s not trying to target anyone, but the shelter has to change.

“I’m not looking at any personnel,” he said. “It’s about how efficient it is.”