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Cañon City Council Might Suspend Contract with Humane Society

Canon City Council Considers Ending Humane Society Contract

CAÑON CITY, Colo. - The Fremont County Humane Society might lose a big portion of its budget.

The Cañon City Council will consider suspending its contract with the shelter after multiple complaints of animal cruelty.

Councilman Ron Bates says he's heard concern from his constituents for years.

"Whether it's a perceived problem or a real problem, the citizens of Cañon City have lost a whole lot of confidence in them," Bates said.

The city hired former USDA inspector Bill Lester to check in periodically on the shelter.

Lester released a report detailing a high kill rate at the shelter.  Lester says from 2005 to 2009, the humane society euthanized more than half of the animals it received.

The humane society says Lester's report doesn't show the full story.

"Bill's report is filled with a lot of conjecture, misinformation, half truths and rumor," said humane society representative Deborah Muehleisen. "I think he himself would acknowledge that every time he's been in there, it's been clean, well-maintained, and the animals have been taken care of."

Muehleisen says she's disappointed the city is considering cutting ties with the shelter and adds that doing so will only hurt the community.

"We took in about 3,000 animals last year. One thousand of them were strays, so imagine a community that has no place to bring in their aggressive animals or their stray populations," Muehleisen said.

Bates suggests some animals might be safer on the streets.

"I guess in some ways, I'd rather see an animal run around than be killed, or sent to a death chamber," Bates said.

Cañon City Council will discuss the future of the humane society contract during its Aug. 18 meeting.

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