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New animal shelter in Dayton in works

Kurt Hildebrand

DAYTON – An animal shelter for Dayton may be in the works after Lyon County commissioners agreed growth in the area warranted one in the near future.

“It is time to start thinking about an animal shelter in this area,” said Johnnye Saylor, who serves on the Lyon County Animal Services Board.

At present the Central Lyon County shelter is located in Silver Springs.

Commissioner LeRoy Goodman agreed with Saylor that a shelter should be part of Dayton’s future.

“A shelter is something we need to look at,” he said. “The budget process is in February. We should look at what it will take to get a no-kill shelter.”

Animal control was a touchy topic for residents, who spoke out during public comment at the commissioners’ annual meeting in Dayton.

Residents accused commissioners and the county manager’s office of inaction on complaints about county animal control officers and repeated animal complaints.

Saylor expressed frustration with both Lyon County Animal Services and the residents who come to speak.

“You may as well dissolve the animal services board because we never have anyone there from animal services,” she said. “Citizens are angry and we can’t get animal services’ side because they are not at the meetings.”

Lyon County set up the animal services advisory board to hear animal complaints, but much of what residents wanted to talk about last week were the animal control officers themselves.

Resident Michael Cartwright asked commissioners how residents were supposed to get their animal problems resolved.

“What is the method I take to get resolution to these problems,” he said.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Stephen Rye said the animal complaint process is unclear, but that personnel issues should go to the county manager’s office, not the animal services advisory board.

Saylor said she is concerned about some of the residents coming to the advisory board.

“There are some really aggressive people on this issue,” she said.

Commissioner Phyllis Hunewell said she felt there was a real lack of communication with residents.

“It is distressing to me to sit through the complaints and be told we’re not doing anything,” she said.

County Manager Steve Snyder said his office is working on new policies for the department.