So it’s $26 million for the county to build a new shelter for 160 lost pets (Journal, March 29 and 31). At 80 percent occupancy that’s $200,000 per pet, more than the cost of a new three-bedroom low income house!
So that’s an option — build 150 three- or four-bedroom units and rent them out at say $1,200 a month, which would bring in $2 million a year, enough to feed the pets on caviar every day. Or use the equivalent cost of the loan, say 5 percent per annum, or $10,000 per pet, to farm out the housing to local pet boarding businesses.
Then the county could fire all the staff except the animal control officers, saving over $1 million a year, and they could demolish the old pound and sell the site (except for eight parking spots), and they could now sell the new site since they won’t need that either.
I am sure there’s a regulation requiring the chainlink pet enclosures to be earthquake-, flood-, fire- and bomb-proof and someone somewhere who thinks that at $600 a square foot, these are a steal.
But I think the steal is on use and that the county should be looking not at 10 percent savings at implementation time, but rather at some way to do this for 10 percent or 20 percent of the current fantastical estimate.
John Sisson, Newcastle