A few years ago residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough went to the polls and said they would like to have animal control, which currently is only provided by certain organized cities. The voters also said they wanted it basically for free.
Since that time, animals, mostly dogs, have continued to roam freely in the unincorporated areas of the borough, which occasionally leads to citizens asking the borough assembly to finally do something about it. Last week it was Amanda Berg of Kenai who spoke up during citizen comments.
“And I’d just like to bring up again the issue of borough animal control. And something needs to be done," she said. "And at this point I think we need to focus on one thing at a time. And I think the primary focus right now is to get a working group established, to figure out how to move forward.”
Berg said her concerns are not just for residents’ welfare, but also for the animals.
“It’s not just a pet issue. It’s a family issue, it’s a child issue. There’s 12 starving dogs abandoned about two miles from here," Berg said without expounding.
Homer Assemblywoman Kelly Cooper, who seemed familiar with Berg’s work with dogs, asked her what she’s found out about how other communities handle the animal control.
“So when that was on the ballot before, people said, ‘Oh we definitely want animal control'. And, ‘We definitely don’t want to pay for it.' So have you done any research or have you checked with any groups around the state or the country… how are they able to put together these kinds of organizations and get funding?," Cooper asked.
“Honestly, I’m unaware of any other place where the government does not fund protection for their animals," said Berg.
There were several other topics during citizen comments. They ranged from a seventh-grader at Kachemak-Selo School saying she understood why Mayor Charlie Pierce couldn’t make a scheduled visit there because of the condition of the roads, to a woman who lobbied to have prayer removed from the assembly meetings, to a gentleman who railed against directing any borough funds to nonprofits.
The next Assembly meeting is on January 16th.