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Clinton County Humane Society deals with other problems after firing staff

The Clinton County Humane Society said it plans to reopen on Tuesday, but not without fixing its problem.

Posted: Aug 23, 2018 12:49 AM
Updated: Aug 23, 2018 9:29 AM

FRANKFORT, Ind. (WLFI) — The Clinton County Humane Society said it plans to reopen on Tuesday, but not without fixing its problem. 

It fired most of its staff last week and closed over the weekend.

We spoke to the interim director, who said they are now dealing with an outbreak of the deadly Parvovirus, but that's not all he said he walked into.

“We've run into a mold problem as you can see right here,” said Clinton County Humane Society Interim Director Ben Pfeffer. "It's gross, and I apologize, but this is the reality of it.”.

The reality of it is that 12 puppies are suffering from the Parvovirus and the shelter has already lost one.

The puppies were diagnosed last Saturday and now the other animals are quarantined.

"I liken it to the flu,” said Pfeffer. “That it is its own type of flu bug. It sticks to everything and then you have to bleach everything within an inch of its life."

The cats have been affected by the feline version of Parvovirus.

If left untreated, it can be fatal, but once the animals fight off the bug, they won't get it again.

Board President Nancy Elsea says the animals are in good hands.

It's the shelter that needs more work.

"These animals are just as much loved as they have always been no matter who was taking care of them,” said Elsea. “We are going through this place bit by bit and looking at what needs to be done. What we can do immediately. We've got a lot of things to do, but it will be done."

One thing to do is keep the kill rate low.

Within the last 10 years under Jim Tate, the shelter went from 60 percent to three percent.

"This shelter used to be a high kill shelter,” said Pfeffer. “The last group that was here did a good job bringing it down, but we're going to maintain that."

Maintaining the 15-year-old building has already been a challenge for the interim director.

He says he has many projects in the works, like covering the outside fences.

As for the president of the board, she knows the community will be watching the progress with concern.

"I can't drive around this town without someone asking how to help,” said Elsea.

We asked Pfeffer and Elsea if the conditions of the shelter had anything to do with the firing of Jim Tate and the other staffers.

They wouldn’t comment.

We previously said he was let go for denying the board social media access.

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