Superior City Coucil approves animal shelter operation

By KBJR News 1

March 18, 2014 Updated Mar 19, 2014 at 11:26 AM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- Superior's mayor has done an about face on the Superior Animal Shelter issue. Last week the mayor advocated closing the shelter in Superior and negotiating with Duluth to take in Superior's stray and unwanted animals.

But under increasing pressure from citizens the mayor changed his plan recommending to the City Council last night that they negotiate with Douglas County instead. Dozens of people packed the Council chambers during the meeting to let councilors know how they felt.

After discussion the council voted to negotiate with the Humane Society of Douglas County to operate the existing Animal Shelter in Superior on an interim basis beginning May first.

Mayor Hagen's earlier suggestion to negotiate with Duluth for animal care had been an effort to save the city money. Many Superior residents are still hoping that a new shelter will be built in the city while others say that would not be cost effective.

"I strongly supported the building of a new facility five years ago when the face of animal welfare in our community was dramatically different than it is today," Duluth Veterinarian, Amanda Bruce, said.

"But the changes in animal numbers we see in our community are not a fluke, and the city of Superior should not be in the business of owning an animal shelter,” Bruce added.

"We've always had a shelter, I think our animals are deserving of that,” Superior’s Animal Voices, Dee Fetters, said.

"We worked very hard for this shelter. It's very important that the animals in Superior remain in Superior,” Animal shelter supporter, Tracy Kilpela, said.

Negotiations on how to operate and manage any new shelter will be discussed after a contract agreement is made sometime in July.

Elsa Robins