The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 4, 2009

'No-kill' animal shelter proposed in Neosho

By Derek Spellman

NEOSHO, Mo. — A new group wants to build a “no-kill” animal shelter in Neosho.

Faithful Friends Animal Advocates incorporated as a not-for-profit organization last year, said president Leanne Williams. Members of the group have been meeting since May 2008.

A three-and-a-half acre parcel located west of Missouri Highway 86 in Neosho was recently donated to the group for the shelter.

“We’re moving forward,” she said.

Specific details about the size of the shelter are being worked out, Williams said. A general timetable, including the date of an upcoming community meeting and fundraising goals, could be announced in the coming weeks.

Williams said the group wants to build a “no-kill” shelter, or one that does not euthanize animals. The only exceptions, she said, would be if an animal is too sick to be cured or too dangerous to be kept.

She acknowledged it was a new concept for Southwest Missouri, although she said a growing number of animal shelters have embraced a similar philosophy.

“We are a humane organization, and if we are advocates for animals, the solution is not to euthanize,” she said.

Williams said Faithful Friends and the planned shelter also would provide education programs for the public, particularly for spaying and neutering, and offer low-cost spay and neuter programs. A Web site would be established to list and display animals available for adoption.

The group also would forge partnerships with animal rescue groups, both local and outside the area, and develop a strong animal foster care program.

The planned center would serve Neosho and Newton County.

Neosho policy

The city of Neosho used to operate its own kennel, although now it contracts with the Joplin Humane Society to take custody of animals whose owners cannot be identified, said Neosho Police Chief Dave McCracken. The city’s animal control department is still operational and part of the police department.

McCracken said the city’s animal control department picked up 453 animals in 2008 and 641 animals in 2007.

“We make every attempt we can to return the animal to the owner,” he said.

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