TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - As the temperatures rise in Trumann Animal Control's pound, so does the tension between Trumann Arkansas Pet Savers, some residents, and the city.
This is after the organization was denied a request to receive an $13,000 air unit for the facility.
"We don't cause any troubles because we want to do right by the dogs," said Brittany Smithson, a member of TAPS.
The group then took to Facebook with a post, informing residents of the heat dangers in the pound and how needed an air unit would be.
"We want them to be cool and comfortable and I don't want to sit in 98 degrees day in and day out and we don't want them to either," said Smithson.
Smithson said sometimes the building gets up to 100 degrees, even when it is cooler than that outside.
"We recognize the building does get hotter than the outside," said Trumann Police Chief Chad Henson and facilitator of animal control. "We have several fans in the building and ventilation, but we know it is hot."
After the post made by TAPS received hundreds of likes, shares, and comments, the city responded.
"Having that unit is a great idea, but we have to think long term," said Henson. "That will require electricity, maintenance, and more personnel which I am all for if it is in the budget."
Henson said it will also create a health risk.
"We cannot have moisture enter that building," said Henson. "If this unit comes in and produces that moisture, then we face the risk of having mold in there with the animals."
However, Smithson feels the city needs to find a solution, especially during the summer months.
"There is a fan to each area but still, it is just circulating the hot air that is already there," said Smithson. "When we try to leave the doors open, it cools the place down a little but then you have a ton of mosquitoes to deal with and with that comes the spread of heartworms and we do not need that."
Henson said they plan to do more to improve the air flow in the building but they have many factors to consider if they want to pull the trigger on a unit.
"With the amount of research I have done on how much would be required to maintain a unit, we just can not afford that and until it is proven otherwise, we can't do that right now," said Henson.
Something both sides agreed with is the need of the community's support is high.
"It is great to talk about it and expect the government to take care of it but we need help," said Henson. "We need more volunteers to keep the dogs out of that hot building. We need more families to adopt these animals out."
Smithson agreed, stressing the importance of spaying and to neuter your animals.
"It starts with the citizens," said Smithson. "There is no reason why that building should reach capacity as much as it does. If you can't spay and neuter your dog or vaccinate your pet you don't have the means to take care of a pet then don't get a pet."
The city and TAPS still have a good working relationship but the organization feels the city should reconsider.
"Our bottom line is that we are their voice and whether people agree with us or not this is how we feel and we are going to voice that to help them," said Smithson.
Before that happens, Henson said it will take some time.
"I want a plan and we need help and I am all for everybody's ideas," said Henson.
Henson says he plans to purchase a 72-inch fan to add to the facility to get the air flowing more.
He also said if anyone wants to volunteer to help out their department and TAPS, call (870) 483-6423.
Smithson said they plan to meet with Henson and Mayor Barbara Lewallen at the pound to discuss more options.
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