Community news story

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News story

Community news story

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Meeting Story Practice Exercise8 You are a reporter for the Harkensville Daily Gazette. These are the official meeting notes about the Harkensville County Council meeting that you attended. Assemble these facts into a summary news story of 300-350 words. Assume Harkensville is in your home state and that your story will be published online and in print after midnight on the evening this meeting was held. Make sure your story contains correct grammar, punctuation and AP style. Harkensville City Council Public Meeting Agenda Item No.A-2 Consent Section Meeting Date May 01, 2016 Subject: Animal Services Department Plan to Increase Live Outcomes at the County's animal shelter Department Name: Animal Services Contact Person: Mary Jones Contact Phone: 555-1212 Sign-Off Approvals: Wesley Davitt 04/25/2016 04/25/2016 Nancy McDish Mayor Tom Crickett City Manager 04/25/2016 Director of Management and Budget – Approved as to Financial Impact Accuracy Thaddeus Deuce III 04/25/2016 City Attorney – Approved as to Legal Sufficiency Staff's Recommended Board Motion: Approve the Animal Services Department's Plan to Increase Live Outcomes in order to lower the euthanasia rate at the County's animal shelter. This Recommended Board Motion will require an increase in funding which was submitted in the FY16/FY17 budget process for approval. Motion Pass: 6-1; Council Victor Mann opposed Financial Impact Statement: This Recommended Council Motion will require an increase in funding which was submitted in the FY14/FY15 budget process for approval. FY16 FY17 Live Outcomes for Sheltered Animals $986,100 $843,100 Animal Intake and Returns-to-Owners 154,000 93,000 Pilot Community Cat Program 71,663 71,663 Revenue Administration 81,595 79,095 Total $1,293,358 $1,086,858 Background: Harkensville County Animal Services (HCAS) receives more than 23,000 dogs and cats at its open-admission shelter each year. The shelter actively seeks to reunite lost pets with their owners and find homes for the remaining animals with new families or other rescues groups and shelters. However, more than 12,000 animals are still euthanized each year in the shelter. On March 2, 2015, the Harkensville County Council directed the County Administrator to create a financially feasible plan to reduce euthanasia at the County shelter. An Animal Services Task Force was created. This group produced ideas to assist the Director of Animal Services in the development of a plan. This plan outlines more than 60 initiatives proposed by the Animal Services Department to send most animals out of the shelter alive. A trap, neuter, and release approach was recommended to the City Council to help lower operating costs at the county animal shelter but cutting the number of strays euthanized there by 30%-45%. Your notes on what happened: Voted 6-1 to amend county animal ordinance, allow trap, neuter, release program to go forward Residents will be able to trap feral cats, have them neutered and vaccinated, then return them to roaming in neighborhoods. Called trap, neuter and release. Considered way to reduce euthanasia at crowded animal shelters, keep public nuisance costs down for county. Same kind of program is used by at least 100 localities around country. Some county vets opposed; county SPCA endorsed. Could cut cat population in half at shelter “Do we really want more of these colonies popping up all over our community where your children and your dogs play?” said Dr. Christy Leggett. Pet adoptions up 38 percent at Harkensville shelter; dog and cat kill rate is down 9 percent, according to city’s Director of Management and Budget Michael Petworth, a Brookline vet and chairman of the county’s Animal Advisory Committee: cats released back into community are health hazard; are not properly vaccinated or dewormed; are danger to other animals, get fleas, kill migratory birds Petworth: trap, neuter release does not reduce cat colonies unless 70 percent or more of feral cats are sterilized. He didn’t say where he got figure. Councilman Victor Mann voted no, cited Audubon claims about feral cats wiping out birds. Donnie Moore, executive director of the Tri-State Association of Veterinary Hospitals and Practitioners, supported proposed pilot program as cost effective alternative to more taxpayer money spent on shelter Moore: there’s feral cat overpopulation problem in downtown Harkensville. Moore: suggested new ordinance to require cat colonies be at least 1,000 feet away from schools, hospitals and playgrounds. Animal welfare advocate Tammy Tomiko of PETA: rabies common in raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes, coyotes, not cats Tomiko: vets are trying to stir up hysteria using an isolated and rare instance of a rabid cat. Was July case of 2-year-old girl bitten by rabid cat in North Hills neighborhood Tomiko: said real problem is trap, neuter, release programs are inhumane and ineffective; “Homeless cats do not die of old age.” Tomiko: “Having witnessed firsthand the gruesome things that can happen to feral cats and to the animals they prey on, PETA cannot in good conscience oppose euthanasia as a humane alternative to dealing with cat overpopulation.” About dozen animal activists in audience with PETA signs; loud applause for Tomiko from them Susan Kirby, Granby resident who volunteers at Harkensville animal shelter: county has recorded only one rabid cat in 30 years. Didn’t say where she got the number. Kirby said, “There is no rabies epidemic; it’s extremely rare.” Mayor Nancy McDish supported moving ahead, said regretted the county had not done more to implement the program already. McDish said: “I believe enough cats have already died because of our inaction and I do not want to delay moving forward.” ...
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Tutor went the extra mile to help me with this essay. Citations were a bit shaky but I appreciated how well he handled APA styles and how ok he was to change them even though I didnt specify. Got a B+ which is believable and acceptable.

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