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Shelter volunteer voices opinion

January 25, 2013
Estherville Daily News

To the Editor

Is Estherville truly that opposed to expansion and modernization?

I will try in vain to keep this brief but already know that I'll fail in doing so. Late last fall, my sister Chelsea and I volunteered our services to the Emmet County Animal Shelter. I myself became one of the photographers that goes and obtains photos of all the foster dogs which in turn are posted to the shelter's official facebook page and website. My sister, on the other hand, helps maintain the kennels and often aides in transporting some of the sicker animals to their appointments with the vet.

While I can honestly say that my sister does twice as much work as I have if not more, it has nonetheless been an exceedingly rewarding experience working along side these animals, learning the stories behind their rescues and getting to know the other volunteers. But despite this, from day one I was aware that in time the shelter would eventually need to relocate to allow their current animal residents more adequate space and perhaps allow for more rescues in the future.

The care these animals receive is second to none; they are well stimulated, both physically and mentally, and the volunteers pour their hearts and souls into the work they do. Take this from experience for I've seen it first hand on numerous occasions.

The fact that the Estherville City Council would deny a request from the shelter to relocate to an area downtown is in itself appalling. This is a group willing to take over and refurbish a 100+ year old building and turn it into something that would benefit the community as a whole, and yet they were turned down. In my opinion, the reasons as to why they were turned down (odor, noise issues), are completely irrelevant. Volunteers come in twice a day if not more to ensure the kennels are properly cleaned and sanitized. I find this ironic and even hypocritical, has anyone ever stepped outside in the middle of the night and taken in the sweet smell of the local rendering plants. Why not address that issue???? That and issue of "noise" is equally irrelevant given the fact that the property is already located next to a train yard. The animals would be housed safely indoors and would thus pose no nuisance to any of the neighbors (the number of which I may add is very few in that corner of town).

To sum things up, I have to ask the Estherville City Council, just how wise was your decision? I've lived in Estherville for the past 11 years and have seen little to no growth, now we have an extremely well run and well-meaning organization hoping to change that and you shot them down without even thinking twice.

Brittney Kroenke

ECAS Volunteer



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