Newly named Citizen of the Year plans push for Pulaski County animal shelter
By: Darrell Todd Maurina
Kim Fuhr hopes to have a county animal shelter so county residents have an option similar to what will soon be the Waynesville-St. Robert joint animal shelter.
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Feb. 19, 2010) — As the newly named Waynesville-St. Robert Citizen of the Year, Kim Fuhr said Friday that her priorities will include trying to find ways to help animals, not only in the county’s five cities but also in the large rural areas outside city limits where the majority of the county’s population lives.
“I really felt that there are so many other people who are more deserving than I, but it does push me to want to do more and earn up to this because there’s still a lot that needs to be done,” Fuhr said. “This makes we want to work harder.”
Fuhr said she’s always “had a passion and a love for animals.”
“There’s such a need in our county; somehow we’ve gotten caught where there are just so many unwanted animals and it seems to be a lack of education or a lack of resources,” Fuhr said. “We really want to get a handle on that, hopefully to have a shelter but mainly to curtail the population.”
Fuhr said she was pleased that the city councils of both St. Robert and Waynesville have approved a joint animal shelter, but Fuhr said more still needs to be done at the county level.
“We’re definitely headed in that direction and we worked pretty closely with the sheriff’s department; more recently in the last year, we’ve worked with all the municipalities in Pulaski County and we’ve gotten a really good response. They seem to be welcome to letting us help them in whatever way we can, and hopefully yes, in the future we will have the resources to help,” Fuhr. “We’re on the way and we’re working and growing.”
Fuhr said she hopes the Pulaski County Humane Society can fill a need for the county by applying for grants to obtain an animal shelter. While it’s often said that the lack of any county animal control ordinance means little can be done to control dog and cat problems, Fuhr said that’s not necessarily correct.
“If the county doesn’t have any, then of course they fall back to the state … we do have something to go on,” she said. “Right now what we try to do is if there is an issue of abuse or neglect, we try to kind of check it out on our own to save the sheriff’s department a step, and then if it’s viable and really is a case that we feel they need to look into, then we’ll give them a call.”
The Pulaski County Humane Society also provides $25 certificates toward spaying or neutering of animals, she said, and maintains a phone line to report abused or neglected animals.
That’s a major effort for a small organization with less than 70 members, a nine-member board, and about a half-dozen members who can quickly respond to problems.
“We don’t require anything of our members except if we have some type of event going on where we might need volunteers, then we ask for some help,” Fuhr said.
Membership in the Pulaski County Humane Society is $15 per individual, $25 per family, or $150 for a lifetime membership, she said.