To the Editor:
In response to Tuesday's letter, I would like to clarify some policies of the Humane Society of Goodhue County and the city of Red Wing.
The Humane Society provides animal control services to Red Wing that includes the impounding of animals. City ordinance 10:11 §2 states that animals running at-large is prohibited.
When an animal is found loose in Red Wing, it is brought to the Humane Society and held for five days. Throughout the five-day isolation period and while an animal is up for adoption, we feed, house, and care for it at our expense. Our costs include staffing, our shelter building, utilities, cleaning supplies, and veterinary expenses.
When an animal is claimed by its owner, the owner must pay a $25 impound fee as well as $20 in boarding for each day that the animal is in our care. In addition, according to city ordinance 10:11 §3, all pets must be registered and we require the owner to update the licensing before the animal can be claimed. The cost for licensing is $5 for the tag and $10 per year for the registration itself (the price of which is determined by the city.)
A car parked illegally may be towed to an impound lot and vehicle owners must pay to reclaim it. It is a similar process with animals; however, unlike with a vehicle that may be parked in a lot, animals have needs, which we feel the need to meet.
Naturally, people may not be happy about having to pay to reclaim their animals. However, no one wants a beloved pet to be injured or killed as a result of it running loose.
As part of our mission statement, our organization strives to "work for passage and enforcement of laws enacted for the protection of animals," such as these ordinances. We believe that the services we provide are beneficial to the people and animals in our community and we are proud of the work we do.
Anna Ostendorf is interim executive co-director of the Humane Society of Goodhue County.