Updated: Thursday, 12 Mar 2009, 1:36 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 11 Mar 2009, 8:00 PM EDT
STANTON, Mich. (WOOD) - A Montcalm County citizens committee is trying to figure out the next step in its relationship with a controversial animal testing center.
R&R Research, which takes animals from the Montcalm County Animal Shelter and sells and disposes them for research, has been at the center of the argument. Many complain the animals that R&R takes could otherwise be adopted.
There have been a number of questions as to how the animals have been treated in the past. But the big question going forward is: Will there be a new contract between the shelter and R&R Research?
A public meeting was held Wednesday to discuss these matters. The head of R&R Research represented his company at the meeting. But he refused to answer questions about the animals he euthanizes, adding to the frustration of dozens of residents in attendance.
Many of those citizens are opposed to another contract with R&R Research.
"Any time an animal control staff says this animal was unadoptable, this animal was too sick to be adoptable, this animal is too aggressive to be adoptable, and it goes to R&R Research, the big question that's going to be hanging over the shelter was, was it really?" said another resident at the meeting.
One woman at the meeting even offered to pay for the unwanted animals if R&R Research was removed from the scenario.
"I have no reservation writing a check right now for $5,000. Why isn't someone going to take it from me right now? I want to know...why?" Carol Manos asked the committee.
The citizens committee will send a recommendation to the full county commission whose elected members will make a final decision. Members said they need two more weeks to further study the issue.
'We're willing to look at the options and if there are things that are neglected, obviously animal control can't fix 'em all overnight. But we're willing to spend some money, and we're working in that direction and to make the changes that are needed for the benefit of the animals," said Montcalm County Commissioner Patrick Carr.