Heidi Raposa

Heidi Raposa addresses City Council regarding the recommendations of the Animal Committee.

After three months of meetings, research and planning, the Grayson Trapnell Special Committee for Animal Services presented their official proposal to Metter City Council on Monday night.

The committee was formed in February to address the $100,000 bequest of the late Grayson Trapnell in memory of his mother, Wilma B. Tull and her commitment to helping homeless animals.

Heidi Raposa spoke on behalf of the volunteer committee.

“The members of this committee have not taken the task before them lightly, spending many hours diligently working to ensure a decision which they believe would best uphold and respect the wishes of Mr. Trapnell, while honoring the memory and passion of Mrs. Tull,” she said.

During the past three months, Raposa said, the committee has reviewed the current provisions of the city’s animal services and identified areas of animal control service that need revising while also establishing a vision for those services for the next decade

Allocation of the bequest

“The committee determined that the most suitable usage for the bequest would be for essential improvements to the current facility of animal services, Metter Animal Shelter,” Raposa read from a prepared statement.

The proposal includes a separate quarantine area, improved climate control, a meet and greet/indoor activity room, a fenced outdoor exercise area, additional feral cat cage, a small office area, signage for visibility and paving the road that accesses the shelter.

Operation revisions

Animal services are currently provided by a full-time animal control officer and a part-time animal caretaker. 

The committee proposed that the animal caretaker position become a full-time position. They also recommend a reassignment of shelter managerial duties to an animal services director. 

The group also recommends removing the current owner surrender/turn-in fee and increasing adoption fees and providing feline pick-up services

The committee has also asked for a continuation of an animal services committee to monitor the progress of animal services as well as the creation and utilization of a volunteer program.

Ten-year vision

The goal is for the shelter to become a ‘zero kill’ or low kill shelter, which means there is a 90 percent live release rate, Raposa said.

The committee also envisions a separate adoption center to house animals ready for adoption and adoption of a policy to have animals spayed/neutered prior to adoption, among other goals.

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