New county video stresses proper care of McDowell's animals

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Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 5:01 pm

McDowell County has a new video that seeks to inform and educate people about the proper care and treatment of their four-legged friends.

The 15-minute video had its premiere during Monday’s meeting of the McDowell County Commissioners. It will soon be available online at the county’s website and will be shown on the McD-TV channel. County officials hope it will be shown in the local schools, too.

“It’s a little different for us,” said County Manager Chuck Abernathy at Monday’s meeting. “We’re taking a bit of a risk because no one has seen this.”

Shane Forbes, who was an intern for the county, and Theresa Strickland, the county’s public information technician, produced the video and worked on it over the summer.

“I hope you all enjoy it,” said Forbes before it was presented.

The video seeks to educate and inform in a positive and constructive way. It even has some moments of humor.

The video does not contain disturbing images of animal abuse. Rather, it seeks to let people know about the proper housing and feeding of cats and dogs. Information is given about shots for rabies and other diseases. The video stresses the need for the spaying and neutering of cats and dogs to control the population of unwanted animals.

The video features Commission Chairman David Walker, Public Works Director Mike Gladden, veterinarian Dr. Suzanne Sewell, Deputy Brian Walker, animal welfare advocate Gwen Straub and Jeri Arledge of Rusty’s Legacy Animal Rescue. It also contains contact information for all the animal advocacy groups in McDowell.

After watching the video, the commissioners applauded the work done by all those who worked on it.

“I think these folks did a fine job,” said Commissioner Michael Lavender.

Vice Chairman Barry McPeters said it was “excellent work,”

Commissioner Randy Hollifield said he thought the county should not stop with this one video. He said more videos about animal welfare should be created.

In other matters, the McDowell County Commission:

• Held the annual public hearing about the distribution of transportation money from the state. Every year, the county applies for money through the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Rural Operating Assistance Program. For next year, McDowell is seeking to get $77,117. Of this, $63,865 will go to the Elderly & Disabled Transportation Assistance (EDTAP) Program, which provides operating assistance for the public transportation of elderly and disabled citizens. The county will also use $13,252 for the Employment Transportation Assistance Program, which provides operating assistance for the public transportation of persons with employment-related transportation needs. After holding the public hearing, the commissioners approved the application.

• Voted to request the transfer of development rights in the Lake James watershed. The request will be made with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. This action was done as part of the county’s effort to build a water system and use Lake James as the water source. McDowell County is in the process of permitting and designing a water intake that will be located on Lake James. The process of reclassifying the lake is also underway with the state. To use the lake’s water for drinking, the state establishes certain standards. By transferring the development rights to the Pisgah National Forest, it would prevent additional restrictions from being imposed on private landowners in the watershed and would make it easier for the county to get the lake reclassified so the lake can be used for drinking water.

• Approved a water system irrigation meter ordinance, as required by the state. This new ordinance is also a part of the county’s effort to build a water system.

• Heard an update from Abernathy about the Universal project. Abernathy plans to invite the Universal committee, the local news media and other officials on a tour of the Universal site and show them what has been done since the county purchased it. That tour will take place in mid-October.

• Agreed to participate in an inventory of broadband Internet in McDowell County. This state-funded inventory will assist the N.C. Department of Commerce with their data collection and would be used by local officials for broadband planning purposes.

• Heard an update on the county’s wellness program. A wellness fair for county employees is scheduled for Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The county will also hold its first annual fun run/walk. The event would take place on the new trails that have been constructed at the Corpening YMCA and the Senior Center.

• Agreed to adjourn their meeting until Monday, Sept. 30. A special meeting will be held on that day to talk about improvements to the courthouse.