The Norman Transcript

Opinion

November 30, 2013

Throwing support behind Animal Shelter Oversight Committee

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

We are writing you on behalf of the city of Norman Animal Shelter Oversight Committee. We would like to make the residents of Norman aware of some good news that was before the City Council Tuesday, July 9th. During the past year, the Oversight Committee has had the opportunity to work with the City's staff, local veterinarians, interested pet owners and an architecture/ design team on the development of the blueprints for the renovation of the Norman Animal Welfare Center that will be funded through the bond issue that Norman's voters approved in November of 2011.

On July 9th at the City Council Study Session starting at 5:30 p.m., City staff presented their recommendations for the design of the shelter renovation and expansion, and the hiring of a construction team that provided the best-value bid during the formal bidding process this past April. And, immediately following the Study Session, the City Council voted on the city’s proposal at its regularly scheduled meeting starting at 6:30 p.m.

We are excited about the proposed design because it will provide a healthier environment for the animals that are brought to the shelter and it will double the holding capacity in the shelter's adoption center. It will provide the shelter with much-needed facilities for controlling disease, keeping the animal holding areas clean and controlling noise such as epoxy floors, a UV air filtration system, a Spray Master cleaning system and dedicated isolation areas. Additionally, the design provides for an expanded veterinary care suite and a multi-purpose room that can be used for public workshops, staff training and educational programs.

Two weeks ago, a letter to the editor was published from a misinformed Shawnee veterinarian who advises OSU veterinary students that work at the shelter two days each week delivering spay/neuter services. We believe her intentions were well-meaning, but because she did not first contact any of the key city staff or members of the Animal Shelter Oversight Committee working on the project, she did not have all of the facts and was not aware of the final renovation design when she sent her letter.

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