Group formed to help local animals

By Mary O.Esparza, -

Altus Mayor Jack Smiley recently formed an Animal Advisory Committee. This was done in response to a need in the community for more proactive management and policy development pertaining to our local domestic animal population.

Appointed members of the committee are Councilman Dewayne Martin, Perry Shelton, and Chris Riffle, Assistant City Manager Matt Wenoswki, Animal Control Officer Krissy Mayhew, Altus resident Brenda Mahan and Chief of Police Tim Murphy.

The committee will research the challenges of the animal population in our community including support and guidance for animal owners. They will work with the community directly to establish needs and review current policies. They will be working directly with agencies and positive model communities, and will then submit findings and recommendations to the city council.

Ward IV council member Chris Riffle said, “We have to acknowledge the reality of the animal situation. It’s been overlooked and the City of Altus must stop and make improvements. The way a community treats their domestic animals, especially the displaced or unwanted, deeply reflects the soul of the community.”

The City of Altus Animal Shelter, located at 220 Enterprise Drive, currently houses 80 animals. The shelter operates with just two employees.

Brenda Mahan, committee member, also volunteers with Altus Animal Welfare Advocates. Mahan says the group is dedicated to increasing the quality of life for the animals, assisting in veterinary care, locating rescues, and educating everyone on pet owner responsibilities.

For more information on ways to help our animal community call 580-481-2285.

By Mary O.Esparza,

Reach Mary at 580-482-1221, ext.2077

Reach Mary at 580-482-1221, ext.2077

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