Animal rights activists protest city policy
The Ellis County Press
FERRIS – Approximately 30 protestors greeted city council members Monday evening in front of city hall.
Outrage over the city’s new mandatory euthanasia policy took not only locals by storm, but animal rights activists who drove nearly two hours to get to the protest.
"I volunteer for the Tri-City animal shelter and when I saw the article (featured in last week’s Ellis County Press) I had to show my support for the animals," said Virgina Oas.
As residents were checked into Monday evening’s council meeting with Police Chief Frank Mooney at the doorway, it was apparent the crowd surrounding the hall were there in protest.
"By the Mayor Pro tem saying this was a ‘shock factor’ that right there just shows lack of professionalism," said Linda Gregg.
"The public needs ongoing education on what it means to be a responsible pet owner."
Misty Clark, animal control officer, was hired to control the animal population for the city of Ferris and nowhere else.
"I really stood by to make sure that Misty was given a chance when the majority of the council didn’t want to," said Mayor Pro Tem Bill Pardue.
"She needs to do her job and not use the facility as a shelter you know? That’s not what this facility was designed for."
Before the public hearing, with both Mayor Jim Parks Jr. and Mayor Pro Tem Bill Pardue absent, Councilman Bill Dunn addressed the crowd.
"We will be listening to your opinions but no questions will be answered."
City secretary Pat Bradley was then advised to read the council’s written position on animal control which states: Our current facility was designed for and should be operated as a municipal pound. The city council had made the decision that The City of Ferris, Texas does not need to be in the animal rescue business .Our animal control facilities and efforts should be designed to provide a safe atmosphere within the city, for the citizens of Ferris and it is supported at tax payers expense.
We are not, however ,opposed to those who are in the animal rescue and adoption business and feel that those efforts should be conducted by those charitable organizations which specialize and this field.
The city council would be open to discussion with any recognized animal rescue organization, 501 (C) 3, interested in leasing our facility and operating it as a shelter and rescue facility as long as it is not at tax payers expense. The city would be willing to pay a reasonable agreed to fee that organization for the shelter and care of animals picked up inside the City of Ferris and delivered to the shelter by the city’s animal control officer.
"I’m a long time animal lover, care giver and foster parent, euthanasia should be the last resort," said Karen Carreon.
When approached, Councilman Rick Barrett had no comment over the nights outcome.
"There is a lot going on behind the scenes right now," said Dunn.
Clark is open to working alongside the city to help generate revenue and adopt out animals for this to be a win-win situation for the animals, but she does stress the need of a rest room facility of some sort.
"I’m the only city worker that doesn’t have to run down to the E-Z Mart if I need to use the rest room," said Clark.
The newly modified policy of housing animals at the shelter for 10 days is still in effect.
"Ferris is known to be the brick capital, don’t let us be known as the heart of stone," said John Boeglin.