Region 8 resident to propose county animal shelter

MANILA, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 animal rights advocate will meet with the mayors of Mississippi County to present a proposal for a county animal shelter.

Former Blytheville City Council member Shirley Connealy is on the mayors' meeting agenda to discuss building the Mississippi County Animal Rescue in Luxora.


Mississippi County judge Randy Carney said he was surprised to find out strays are a problem in Mississippi County. "When I first took office January of last year I called all of our mayors together, 17 mayors in our county and asked them what their concerns are, their main issues and I thought I'd hear about crime or bad roads or that kind of thing, but actually it was stray dogs," he said.


"I was a little surprised, but these mayors, they have a real feel for what's going on in their communities. So, if it's important to them, then it's important to me."


The plan proposes building a $1.5 million, 4,000 square-foot shelter near the Mississippi County jail.


Luxora mayor Jasper Jackson thinks the shelter is a good idea because he has seen the problem of strays in his city. "We had a bad animal problem, but we have cut ours way down," he said. "Every city had that problem."


Mayor Jackson also wants to make sure the plan is cost efficient for residents. Blytheville, Osceola and Manila have animal shelters, and those cities would have to decide whether to shut them down, or arrange operational and rescue procedures that coincide with county shelter procedures.


"Once we figure out all the costs, I think it'll be a good plan," Mayor Jackson said.


Judge Carney said a nine-member board with representation from every part of the county will work on figuring out the best way to fund the project. Osceola mayor Dickie Kennemore estimates it could cost residents about $30 a year to build and maintain the shelter.


Connealy established a donation fund at Southern Bankcorp Bank in Gosnell with $250. 


"Before I got away from the table, I have a check for $2,000, and a promise for $2,000 more. So, that makes my little $250 account look really good."

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