By Peggy Mackenzie
Alderson Police Chief Jeremy Bennett made it sound easy. Reporting the success of a new animal rescue service offered in Alderson at the Tuesday night Greenbrier County Commission meeting, Bennett said what began as an animal control program soon evolved into an animal adoption service in which the whole town of Alderson seems to have participated. In April of this year, Bennett said, four dogs were taken in and were quickly adopted, but soon were followed by several more.
Noting the town had the municipal ordinance resources in place, Bennett, a self-proclaimed animal lover, opted to form a rescue program. He contacted Greenbrier County Animal Control Officer Robert McClung for proper training, and Bennett, in turn, trained his staff in capturing and handling the animals. He asked for help from the Greenbrier County Humane Society with spaying and neutering the dogs as they came in. A veterinarian in Pickaway has also offered his services for the program. And Bennett got the community service program participants put to work keeping the kennels clean and the dogs walked.
The program quickly expanded when a batch of 41 feral cats were found and rounded up. Bennett called up several local farmers and soon had placements for all 41 cats. Since then, stray cats are now being dropped off – and adopted.
It’s been expensive, Bennett said, and the program could not be sustained without the help of volunteers and community donations to keep the program going strong. Only one dog has had to go to the shelter, Bennett said, and it was adopted the next day. All in all a great success story anyone can appreciate … even Commissioner Mike McClung, whose views are well-known.
In other business:
• The local Toys For Tots (TFT) program, headed by Mary Surbaugh and Jason Osborne, is set to hand out toys to underprivileged children in Greenbrier County with the aid of several businesses which have agreed to partner with TFT in donating new, unwrapped toys. Surbaugh said she is anticipating the program will serve up to 3,000 children county-wide this year. On Dec. 16, 17 and 18, TFT will give out two toys each to those participating children in the western end, and then move on to the National Guard Armory in Lewisburg to pass the remaining toys to children on the east side of the county. Surbaugh stated she welcomes any donation for this worthy cause. “Anything donated in Greenbrier County stays in Greenbrier County,” she said.
• Greenbrier County Sheriff Jan Cahill’s request to trade in vehicles with the purchase of new cruisers was approved by the commission, as was a request by Cahill to give an old cruiser to the Quinwood Police Department.
• Nov. 8, 2014 was proclaimed Greenbrier Women On Wellness Day.
• While attending a meeting in Charleston addressing the potential for IRS audits of county records, Commissioner Woody Hanna had concern the county might not be in compliance with regard to those few county employees who drive a county vehicle to and from their home. Discounting the Sheriff’s Department troopers, Hanna narrowed it down to a single individual, the county building inspector, whose job takes him all over the county. A discussion ensued which soon came down to accountability, being consistent and being in compliance with the IRS. The commission moved to require a daily log for the inspector to document mileage between private use and county use of the vehicle. The motion passed 2-1 with Commission President Karen Lobban opposing.