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City manager somewhat hesitant to place item on agenda

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MEGAN GRAY

The Ellis County Press

FERRIS – A town known for its controversial headlines time and again on animal control policies makes waves once again.

Safe Harbor Foundation, a Nevada nonprofit organization with several listed address’ for Texas and beyond, had the-ir contract terminated by the city council unanimously Monday, April 5.

City Manager Eric Strong presented the case to the council not because of recent reports and concerns regarding the safety and living habitat of cats and dogs, but because the shelter was contracted to adopt animals and "they haven’t been able to adopt out but one or two animals per month."

"I know over the past week there have been a lot of rumors some of you may have heard about with various things going on and most of it is strictly rumor," said Strong.

"The one thing we have been somewhat aware of and have studied a little bit more this week in result of these false rumors is that, this group, we asked them to come in and help us with animal adoptions and that’s something they have struggled with significantly."

Last week, concerns flooded the community about how the shelter was overcrowding, neglecting and just not keeping up there part with the shelter or animals.

Strong said the city wasn’t entitled to clean up their mess but since such poor conditions were in view the city did have a crew out there cleaning up in the morning last Monday, March 29.

The amount of animals moved overnight are still uncertain but, according to Assistant Director Shawna Vonda’s public social networking profile [MySpace], there was 107 dogs and 23 cats looking for homes as of March 24.

Vonda, a self described member of a polyamorous family with her master in the "truest sense of the BDS&M [description can be found on Wikipedia.com] lifestyle" according to her profile, moved to Texas where she met her "master" James Soaring Eagle Vonda after living in California for 25 years.

Executive Director James Soaring Eagle has expressed his satisfaction in implementing the new cleaning program which took place at the shelter last week on his MySpace page and according to Strong, feels they haven’t gotten a lot of community support.

"The feeling I got [from speaking with James], if they wanted to end this, it wouldn’t be a terrible split," said Strong.

Safe Harbor foundation has up to 30 days to leave the premises.

Handling animal control short term will be Building Inspector Tim Rawlings until the city is able to "bring something else for discussion to the table at the next council meeting in two weeks," according to Strong.


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