Parkview Animal Hospital now provides temporary sheltering services for all lost dogs or sick cats found by Jasper County’s animal control officer.
On Tuesday, Feb. 16, the board of supervisors approved an agreement between the county and Parkview, which was similar to a draft accepted by the Newton City Council in November 2020. Per the agreement, the Newton-based veterinary clinic on First Avenue East will reserve one kennel for the county’s lost animals.
Jasper County will be allowed to shelter these animals for up to seven days, in which time they can either be reclaimed by their owners or will be transported to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. Parkview will charge the county $20 per day per kennel, a fixed income of $7,300 per year or $608.34 per month.
If additional kennels are needed, the county will be charged an extra $20 per day.
Kevin Leutters, director of environmental health and community development for Jasper County, said the county is still responsible for transporting the animals to Parkview and the ARL. If for some reason Parkview has to do so instead, the county has agreed to reimburse the veterinary clinic.
One of the benefits to having a temporary animal shelter at Parkview is the access to on-site vaccinations and medical treatment. Terri McKinney, clinic manager at Parkview, told Newton News in a past interview that animals will be checked for or receive distemper, parvovirus, Bordetella and rabies shots.
Proof of these vaccinations will be needed at time of pick up, otherwise the owner will be held financially responsible for these shots.
It’s important to note that Parkview does not allow for public drop-offs. Newton’s community services officer or Jasper County’s animal control officer will be the only individuals allowed to bring stray dogs or cats to Parkview.
Transferring shelter services to Parkview means the former Jasper County Animal Rescue League building will not likely be used for such purposes right now. Last summer, JCARL announced it would be closing and dissolving its services, leaving animal control in the hands of the local municipalities.
Jasper County Supervisor Brandon Talsma said the JCARL building — which was being used by the county — will simply be winterized for now since a long-term solution to animal control has not yet been identified.
“I would hate to tear it down and then Parkview decides not to renew the contract and we’re right back at square one again,” Talsma told Newton News.
Even though there’s an agreement with Parkview, the responsibilities of the county’s full-time animal control officer will still be handled by the community development/environmental health departments.
“Obviously with us parting ways with the city and doing our own thing with the county volume (of lost dogs) is way down,” Leutters said. “The City of Newton was the bulk of the volume so it’s just justifiable, responsible to continue that.”
McKinney has stressed Parkview’s animal shelter services are only a temporary fix until an organization similar to JCARL is formed locally — or some other solution is found.
“There clearly is a need for a bigger-than-we-are type of organization. We’re put in place to just help out. It came as a shock to the community that we lost JCARL. If we’re in a position where we can help for now and see what the long-term brings us, then that’s what we’re attempting to do,” McKinney said.
Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or firstname.lastname@example.org