People, Places & Events

     
   

Morale on rise at local animal shelter
By Joan B. Guertin
Monitor Correspondent

SEVEN POINTS–Visitors to the Cedar Creek Lake Humane Society are being met these days by workers with smiles on their faces.
A new board and day-to-day contact with members tare genuinely interested in what is happening at the Seven Points facility, has given the animal caretakers a new lease on life.
They couldn’t be happier, according to manager Tracy Stone and her cousin, Kristin Felts, both of whom have worked at the site for the past two and a half years.
Although the building is old, and admittedly in need of repair, it was evident that the cats and dogs were comfortable as the air conditioner was running just fine.
In addition, the feces had been removed and kennels hosed down. It didn’t smell bad for a facility housing so many dogs.
With a “full house” of 150 animals, Tracy and her staff have their hands full.
Feeding, exercising and cleaning up after that many dogs and cats is a full-time job, they admit.
Three full-time workers are on duty five days a week, on a rotating basis.
Two workers cover Sunday mornings to do the basic cleanup, watering and feeding.
Tracy’s sister, Stacy Stone, works full-time and is being joined for the summer by cousin Callie Johnson, who just graduated from high school. They all agreed, a staff of three on the busy days is too few people for the workload.
The work is also generally tedious and repetitious.
The animals have to be maintained. Since they provide food only in the morning, the dogs graze all day and that means that cleanup is constant.
A good volunteer coordinator is needed, along with eager volunteers, who understand that it is a tough job – but someone has to do it.
Many parents think “volunteering” their children, while school is out, is a way to kill two birds with one stone. “No,” declares Stone.
“We don’t have time to ride herd on a bunch of kids who think that taking care of animals is a game, or else it was a way for Mom to have a free babysitter for a few hours.
“We love having the kids and teaching them, but they need to be accompanied by a parent, who is also willing to learn and work,” Stone declared.
With a full facility, it’s recommended that people who need to turn animals call before bringing them out. At present there is no space for dogs, however they can take some cats.
“And people often don’t understand that we have to charge a $10 fee for each animal taken in,” explains Stone. That modest sum doesn’t even cover the cost of food and shots, she said.
Of course, everyone agrees spaying and neutering animals is preferred to bringing them to a shelter.
“Right now, we are delighted to let the public know that they can get financial help getting their large dogs spayed and neutered through the grant program offered by the Gun Barrel City-based Friends of the Animals,” Stone said, pointing to an article on the wall by the front desk.
“If everyone would be responsible and stop indiscriminate breeding, it might even make our job obsolete in the future,” she added.
The only real downside to the job is euthanizing animals, Stone admitted.
Veterinarian Lisa Jones administers a shot, and they go quietly to sleep, without pain. However, it is the cleanup that gets to Stone.
“It is another defenseless animal that becomes the victim of a society that refuses to be responsible for its animals,” Stone said.
In addition to the formation of a new and, so far, active and involved board, which has offered a real shot of hope for the future of the facility, Stone is excited about the upswing in adoption rates.
Recently, Stone began posting adoptable dogs on the Petfinders web site.
There were 189 hits in one week, six adoptions and three animals turned over to an appropriate breed rescue, all through the web site.
One adoption was particularly gratifying. A woman drove all the way from Texas City after seeing a tiny Chihuahua on the site. Tears shone in Stone’s eyes when telling that one.
Those wanting to check out the web site can go to HSCCL.petfinders.org, to view pets available for adoption.
Anyone wishing to get involved, particularly as a volunteer, should attend the next meeting at 5 p.m. on Monday, June 19 at the Alamo Restaurant in Gun Barrel City.

 

Tips on what to do if you see an alligator
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

SEVEN POINTS–Members of Kiwanis of Cedar Creek Lake heard some important tips on what to do if you see an alligator.
State Game Wardens Tony Norton and Andre Ogundare shared the podium as they expanded on the recent sighting and interest in alligators.
“This is nothing new. It’s just this has been a little more publicized lately,” Norton explained.
If you do spot an alligator, some things to remember are:
• back away slowly.
• don’t get between the alligator and the water.
• they are faster than you (can travel at up to 35 mph).
• they don’t like anyone messing with their young (are very protective and are usually close by).
• and fishermen need to know feeding those fish heads and other scraps to an alligator is a $500 citable offense.
Feeding an alligator teaches the reptile they can come to humans for food, which might not be understood by someone who meets a scrambling alligator for the first time.
Taking a baby alligator from its nest to be a pet is not a good idea, either.
“Alligators will never domesticate, and they will always bite you if given the chance,” Orgundare said.
Although alligators are no longer on the “threatened species” list, you cannot shoot an alligator, Norton said.
There is limited hunting allowed, but not on public areas.
“Right now all we have is by permit only. In addition, we are trying to get a ruling for one alligator per season on private property,” Norton said.
“Alligators tend to stay in marshy areas. Those seen in the Key Ranch area have probably been migrating from the marshy areas in the Caney Creek area,” he said.
In other business, Kiwanians heard the Project School Bell board meeting is set for 11:30 a.m. Monday, June 19, at the Beans and Burger in Mabank.

 

Notice for Eustace water use
Special to The Monitor
EUSTACE–The City of Eustace is initiating Stage 2, Moderate Water Shortage water use restrictions.
Under threat of penalty for violation, the following water use restrictions shall apply to all persons:
• Irrigation of landscaped areas with hose-end sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems will be limited to Sundays and Thursdays for customers with street address ending in an odd number and irrigation of landscaped areas is further limited to the hours of midnight until 10 a.m., and from 8-10 p.m. on designated watering days.
However, irrigation landscaped areas is permitted at anytime if it is by means of a hand-held hose, a faucet-filled bucket or water can of five (5) gallons or less, or a drip irrigation system.
• Use of water to wash any motor vehicle, motorbike, boat, trailer, airplane or other vehicle is prohibited except on designated water days between the hours of midnight and 10 a.m. and from 8-10 p.m.
Such washing, when allowed, shall be done with a hand-held bucket or a hand-held hose equipped with a quick shut-off nozzle for quick rinse.
Vehicle washing may be done at any time on the premises of a commercial carwash or commercial service station. Further, such washing may be exempted from these regulations if the health, safety and welfare of the public are contingent upon frequent vehicle washing such as garbage trucks and vehicles used to transport food and perishables.
• Use of water to fill, refill or add to any indoor or outdoor swimming pool, wading pools or Jacuzzi-type pools is prohibited except on designated watering days.
• Operation of any ornamental fountain or pond for aesthetic or scenic purposes is prohibited, except where necessary to support aquatic life or where such fountains or ponds are equipped with a recirculation system.
• Use of water from hydrants shall be limited to firefighting, related activities or other activities necessary to maintain public health, safety and welfare, except that use of water from designated fire hydrants for construction purposes may be allowed under special permit from the City of Eustace.
• All restaurants are prohibited from serving water to its patrons except where requested.
• The following uses are defined as nonessential an are prohibited:
• wash-down of any sidewalks, walkways, driveways, parking lots, tennis courts or other hare surfaced areas,
• use of water to wash down any building or structure for purposes other than immediate fire protection,
• use of water for dust control,
•flushing gutters or permitting water to accumulate in any gutter or street, and
• failure to repair a controllable leak within a reasonable period of time from notification of such repair.

 

City of Tool bans outdoor burning
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

TOOL–One thing all Tool Council members agreed on Wednesday, it is awfully dry, awfully early in the year.
With little hesitation, the city passed an ordinance giving them the right to forbid outdoor burning, even if Henderson County delays its ban.
“We need one in the county now – it is so dry,” Councilman A.J. “Red” Phillips said.
The council passed the ordinance with possible further investigation into the legalities to follow.