Animal Control Committee does not recommend the county build its own impound facility

(Lander, Wyo.) – A committee of community individuals have firmed up their recommendations for animal control issues in Fremont County. The committee was formed last winter after the county ran out of budgeted funds to board dogs at PAWS in Riverton and a Lander veterinarian opted out of providing those services.

The Animal Control Citizen Committee has met for the last five months, and Sheriff Skip Hornecker presented the Fremont County Commission on Tuesday with three possible options, each with pros and cons.

Option 1 is keeping things as they are; Option 2 is contract with private facilities; and Option 3 is creating a county-owned impound or ‘dog detention’ facility.

“After a thorough review of the options listed above the Committee recommends Option 2, paying a private facility to care for Impounded Dogs,” writes Sharma Sonntag, the committee’s chair. The committee recommends pursuing a relationship with PAWS and working with them to possibly secure additional kennel space in the future.

Another suggestion would be for the county to start charging a $10 licensing fee for dogs living in the county. “The money generated from this license fee would improve public safety because proof of rabies vaccinations would be required to license and the fees would help offset some of the costs created by impounding the dogs,” Sonntag wrote.

Sonntag and Hornecker both noted that doing nothing seems to not be a viable option, due to public safety issues and the growing number of citizen disputes arising from dogs.

The commission did not discuss the matter at length but instructed Hornecker and the committee to pursue identifying ways to implement Option 2 with kennels in both Riverton and Lander.