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Port St. Lucie vice mayor claims dogs not being cared for in temporary animal shelter

St. Lucie Co. doesn't plan to reestablish ties with Humane Society
Posted at 8:01 PM, Mar 10, 2020

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The city of Port St. Lucie claims that dogs being taken care of at a temporary government animal shelter in St. Lucie County were not getting the care they need.

Zeus took a walk Tuesday outside the Humane Society Shelter on Glades Cut Off Road. He is one of nine dogs the city of Port St. Lucie brought back last week from a county temporary shelter.

Dan Wire, the new board chair of the Humane Society, says four of the nine dogs were in poor condition, with foot fungus and ribs exposed.

“I’m a dog lover. I have two Pomeranians. I was absolutely shocked," said Wire.

Wire and Port St. Lucie Vice Mayor Shannon Martin, who is also on the Humane Society board, took their concerns to the county commission Tuesday.

“If we’re paying for that, and we’re using our taxpayer dollars for that, the dogs should not look like that," said Martin.

After a volunteer was mauled to death by a shelter dog last May, Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce and St. Lucie County cut ties with the Humane Society.

The three agencies had been sharing a temporary shelter by the airport since last fall. Port St. Lucie recently decided to give the Humane Society a fresh start with funding.

“You’re going to see those animals look remarkably different than they do today," said Wire.

County Commission Chairwoman Cathy Townsend agrees they need to get the animals out of temporary quarters, but says the shelter has been doing its job.

“I am confident that the animals are cared for in our facility. I do know for a fact that the staff at our shelter do a great job," said Townsend.

Right now, the county temporary shelter is slated to close in June.

As opposed to repartnering with the city of Port St. Lucie, St. Lucie County Commissioners plan to first try to make a new deal work with the city of Fort Pierce to fix up the original shelter on Savannah Road in Fort Pierce. Votes on that possibility could come as soon as next week.