Wexford dogs on death row could get second chance

Wexford County commissioners listened to proposals from a Leelanau dog rescue facility tonight about ways to help reduce the amount of dogs that are euthanized at the Wexford County Animal Shelter due to overcrowding.

Pine Cone Farms, in Leelanau, answered questions from the board of commissioners at Wednesday evenings meeting at the Wexford County Courthouse on how they think they can assist with some of the problems at the Wexford shelter. The discussion stems from the recent allegations of improper euthanization practices at the shelter that were investigated by the state.

Commissioners discussed two possible options with Pine Cone Farms.

The first, that Pine Cone would take over and run the Wexford Animal Shelter and allow the over flow of dogs to come and reside at their low-kill facility in Leelanau.

The second option discussed was to continue allowing the sheriff's department to run the Wexford Animal Shelter but to still allow the dogs scheduled for euthanization to come to the Leelanau location for adoption.

"The big take away from tonight was that there's a new avenue for the county to take when we get into an overflow situation," said Wexford County Administrator, Ken Hinton. "Animals that may have faced euthinization will now have someone offering to take them in and give additional efforts to get those animals adopted out."

With either of the possible options, Pine Cone made it clear that they would need assistance from Wexford County with funding this project.

Since the Wexford County Animal Shelter is currently run through the county, commissioners would need to take necessary steps in order to chance the ordinance to allow an independent shelter to operate it within the county.

Tonight, commissioners asked Pine Cone Farm to create a proper proposal to present at a future meeting.

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