Blue Earth talks cats, dogs

BLUE EARTH – Dogs and cats were once again a main topic at the Blue Earth City Council on Monday.

Only this time, members of the Faribault County Humane Society were in attendance to discuss their need for a new animal shelter.

“We really want a larger and better facility,” said Humane Society member Debbie Johnson. “We are bursting at the seams most of the time.”

Johnson said they almost always have a large number of cats and several dogs at any given time. They would like to have two separate areas in the shelter, one for dogs and one for cats, but right now the building is just too small.

She reported that the Humane Society has many dedicated volunteers who not only faithfully tend to the animals, but who also are involved in fundraising.

“We have raised $22,000 towards a new facility,” Johnson said. “We would prefer finding an unused building that would suit our needs as opposed to building a new structure.”

Council members discussed the matter and said they were unaware of any empty building in Blue Earth, either city owned or privately owned, that would be suitable for an animal shelter.

Mayor Rick Scholtes suggested Blue Earth take the lead in finding or building a new shelter with the other towns and the county. All are involved in the administration of the animal shelter.

“We would need for each entity to pay its fair share for a new facility,” Scholtes said. “It could be based on usage.”

City administrator Tim Ibisch said he would contact the other entities involved in the Joint Powers Agreement that operates the shelter and set up a meeting.

Another dog issue that came up at the meeting involved a public hearing concerning designating an animal as a potentially dangerous dog.

The dog owner testified about the incident in which the dog bit a person at Steinberg Park. He argued the dog was only loose for a brief time and he did not see bite marks on the person’s hand.

However, the council decided to keep the dangerous dog designation in place for one year.

The council also looked at another case of two dogs that chased a third dog, which was bitten on the back of the neck. Council members once again voted to designate both dogs as potentially dangerous for a one-year period of time.

In other business, the council heard an update on an investigation into a complaint against a Blue Earth police officer, but City Attorney David Frundt said the investigation is not complete, and will not be for a couple of weeks.