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Study panel named to make recommendations on animal shelter

BY KATHLEEN FOXkfox@paducahsun.com

Leaders named the task force members who will help decide the course of action for McCracken's animal shelter.

Mayor Gayle Kaler and Judge-Executive Van Newberry announced Tuesday the 12 city and county residents - six members from each leader - to serve on the Paducah-McCracken County Animal Task Force, according to city public information officer Pam Spencer.

The panel includes members who have served on previous animal shelter boards; volunteers and residents who foster animals; county and city officials; doctors; veterinarians; and people in the business community.

Kaler chose City Manager Jeff Pederson; Caroline Cappock, an animal shelter volunteer who fosters animals; Sheila Johnston, a resident and owner of several cats; Lee King, member of the McCracken County Animal Shelter Advisory Board and president of the Paducah Kennel Club; Dr. Rob Robertson, a retired physician and member of the McCracken County Humane Society board; and Dr. James Shumaker, pediatrician and president of the McCracken County Humane Society board.

Newberry named Deputy Judge-Executive Doug Harnice; Diana Cruickshank, an animal shelter volunteer and teacher at McCracken County High School; Dr. Tim Davis, a member of the McCracken County Animal Shelter Advisory Board; Dr. Daniel Everett, veterinarian at Paducah Veterinary Clinic; Todd Jones, assistant county attorney for traffic and DUI cases; and George Pushard, manager at Consolidated Electrical Distributors (CED) Paducah Electric Supply.

The Fiscal Court held a workshop on Feb. 17, with the mayor and several city commissioners attending, to discuss the future of the shelter on County Park Road. Officials outlined three primary options - keeping the current building, partnering with a new or existing shelter, or constructing a new facility to replace the current 4,500-square foot complex.

The board will be asked to make recommendations for animal control and sheltering in the county. Leaders emphasized that there will be a short deadline placed on the committee's decision. Newberry said during the workshop that he would like to have a solution in place before next winter.

The first meeting, which will include the presentation of instructions, responsibilities and goals for members, will begin at 4:30 p.m. March 6, at the McCracken County Emergency Management facility on Coleman Road.

Contact Kathleen Fox, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or follow @kathleendfox on Twitter.

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