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Published January 26, 2010, 12:00 AM

Moorhead City Council: Animal groups to share funds

$1,450 to go to Fargo-Moorhead Humane Society, $1,000 to PAAWS
Moorhead Mayor Mark Voxland used his tie-breaker authority Monday night in deciding how to split $2,450 between two outside agencies that provide animal control.

By: Dave Olson, INFORUM

Moorhead Mayor Mark Voxland used his tie-breaker authority Monday night in deciding how to split $2,450 between two outside agencies that provide animal control.

A majority of the money, $1,450, will go to the Fargo-Moorhead Humane Society, with the remaining $1,000 going to Minn-Kota PAAWS, an agency devoted to spaying and neutering cats.

The council originally budgeted all of the money to go to the Humane Society, which has received city support for many years.

Greg Lemke previously asked that the check be put on hold while other options were explored, including giving some of the money to PAAWS.

When Lemke suggested the sharing arrangement that was ultimately approved, his motion was supported Monday by council members Diane Wray Williams, Dan Hunt, Mark Altenburg and Voxland.

Members voting against the motion were Luther Stueland, Nancy Otto, Brenda Elmer and Mark Hintermeyer.

Hintermeyer said he doesn’t like being put in the position of deciding winners and losers when it came to giving to outside agencies, but added he would prefer seeing the Humane Society receive the entire amount because he felt its mission most closely matched the city’s animal control efforts.

Otto said she didn’t like the fact that PAAWS releases stray cats after they have been trapped and then spayed and neutered.

“I don’t want any feral cats outside my property at all,” Otto said.

Lemke said the efforts of similar programs elsewhere show they greatly reduce the overall number of stray animals in communities.

“There’s going to be more of them (stray animals) if we don’t do some kind of a program,” Lemke said.

Although the animal control appropriation was resolved with the 5-4 vote, council members indicated that discussion on where and whether taxpayer dollars should be spent on outside agencies will be expanded in the near future.

Also during Monday’s meeting, Moorhead Police Chief David Ebinger presented Josie Green, a student at Minnesota State University Moorhead, with the Police Department’s Citizen Recognition Award for distinguished community service.

Green was jogging Nov. 20 when she came upon some people near to the Red River who told her that their companion had fallen into the water.

Green entered the river and pulled Lucas Littleghost, who was unconscious, to the bank of the river, where emergency workers provided medical treatment.

Littleghost later died at a hospital.

Ebinger said officers who responded to the call described Green’s actions that day as selfless and courageous.

Voxland agreed and thanked Green.

“You do us proud for what you did,” Voxland told Green.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

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