City assumes operation of local animal shelter

Saturday, May 27, 2017

SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Area Humane Society has turned over the operation of the animal shelter to the city of Sikeston.

On Friday, the city officially regained possession of the shelter and the remaining animals.

"Sikeston veterinarian, Stephen Williams, has already been to facility to examine the animals, at the city's request," said Jay Lancaster, director of Sikeston Public Works.

The city of Sikeston has applied for the necessary license to operate a shelter, Lancaster said.

"We are cleaning and getting the facility ready and expect to receive the license by the middle of next week," he said.

The city sent a letter to Cody Mitchell, Sikeston Area Humane Society president, on May 19, terminating its contract with the Sikeston Area Humane Society, citing loss of the Humane Society's license to operate the shelter.

On Thursday, the shelter still had 10 cats, 16 dogs and eight puppies, according to Ashley Boyd, a Sikeston Area Humane Society employee.

"We have been closed since the loss of our license, and we are trying to transfer the animals here to another shelter or to the right home," Boyd said. "We want them to have a second chance at a good home."

In addition to transferring the last animals in the shelter's care, employees were cleaning up the premises as they turned over the facility to the city.

City officials decided to terminate the contract after the shelter failed three consecutive inspections by the Department of Agriculture and officials failed to pay the resulting fines. Also it was cited for failure to report the disposition of animals to the state.

The shelter's license was revoked April 20.

"We found out about the loss of our license to operate the shelter on Facebook," said Boyd, who is the wife of Cedrik Boyd, the shelter's director.

Ashley Boyd has been associated with the shelter for about four years with the last two years as an employee.

Some 218 dogs remain unaccounted for in the last reports filed with the state.

"We are required to make a report to the Department of Agriculture each year by Jan. 1," Boyd said. She added the report was not accurately submitted.

According to Boyd, the report is completed online. She said Brittany Mitchell, who submitted the report this past year, did not correctly complete the portion of the online report which is required to account for adopted animals.

However, Boyd said that Mitchell, who is the wife of Cody Mitchell, did account for animals that were "owner redeemed" and animals that were euthanized.

Lancaster said he expects the shelter to open in a week or so.

Anyone who would like to donate food or labor is encouraged to contact City Hall at (573) 471-2512.

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