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home : latest news : local February 6, 2016

1/17/2014 6:00:00 AM
Animal rescue group facing new rules at downtown Kingman center
Mutt Matchers representatives Judy Torgerson, left, and Jim Woods, third from left, show city manager John Dougherty and city attorney Carl Cooper, right, around the adoption center. (EVE HANNA/Miner)
Mutt Matchers representatives Judy Torgerson, left, and Jim Woods, third from left, show city manager John Dougherty and city attorney Carl Cooper, right, around the adoption center. (EVE HANNA/Miner)
Eve Hanna

KINGMAN - Mutt Matchers, a nonprofit dog adoption center, faces new hurdles as they try to renew a $1-a-month lease of city property that houses the group's operations - and there's a deadline, since the existing lease expires in February.

Mutt Matchers rents the former city dog pound at 1001 Buchanan St. But a 1996 law meant to keep cities from unfairly competing with private landlords means they'll have to take extra steps this time.

That law is the Government Property Lease Excise Tax (GPLET), said Kingman City Attorney Carl Cooper.

"GPLET was enacted by the Legislature to prevent what some saw as government competing with private property owners," said Cooper. "We have to look at the value of the property and the value of the direct benefit provided to the community by the organization and find a way to quantify the two, or we [the city] could be subject to the tax."

Mutt Matchers recently contacted the city about renewing their lease, but became concerned when they were asked to submit a "list of the benefits they provide to the community."

Following a tour of the facility Thursday, Mutt Matchers discussed their operations with city manager John Dougherty and Cooper. The group is permitted for 15 dogs at the facility and currently has six. Five were adopted from a kill shelter in Henderson, Nev., and one was adopted from the Western Arizona Humane Society (WAHS), which operates the facility located directly across the street.

City officials were concerned that Mutt Matchers is bringing in dogs from out of state instead of taking in dogs from the community.

Mutt Matchers representatives Judy Torgerson and Charlene Haffner explained that although they would like to accept more local dogs, many are sick or have other problems.

Responding to questions about why the group can't accept dogs from the general public, Haffner said the group uses a "...220 point evaluation and the dog must pass with 176 or more to be accepted."

"If you take from one, you have to take them all, and many are 'unadoptable dogs,'" she said. "We might have to tell them, 'No, it doesn't meet our evaluation,' because we're so little. We could do that if we had another kennel - a quarantine kennel. Could we have that building?"

With that, discussion turned to the availability of another city building located behind Mutt Matchers' current location.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Article comment by: Jan Regan

Mutt Matchers helped us find our new best friend. We found them to be caring and compassionate with their animals and they maintain a clean and organized facility. There are rescue organizations bringing animals from CA and charging over $500 -- this becomes a lucrative business. If there are kill shelters locally, perhaps MM could consider rescuing from these facilities. Kudos to Mutt Matchers for their hard work and dedication!

Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014
Article comment by: Horse's Mouth vs other extremities

Maybe by going and asking the right questions of the right people, instead of believing everything that is written, you'd find out what is the truth.

Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014
Article comment by: Clyde Lab

It's really not hard to figure out what should be done. Enforce a law that requires all dogs & cats be spay & neutered like they have in Clark County. If they can do it, we should be able to do it too. Make people get special permits to breed. This will stop the back yard breeders. If they let people have as many as they want, license them all, this will help the county. Some of that money could be used to have a spay & neuter program. Wouldn't that be great to put rescues out of business because there aren't any unwanted animals born because of their owner neglect.
I also understand where MM is coming from. If you have only enough room for 10-15 dogs & you fill those kennels with unadoptable or hard to place dogs you have accomplished nothing. If you fill those kennels with adoptable dogs when one gets adopted then a place is opened for another.
You have to be so careful bringing in animals from the pound or the public in to an area that has no quarantine. Because you can make your whole kennel sick. It's not because they don't want to, you have to protect what dogs you do have. Volunteer at a rescue, see what's put into it. Rescues don't do it to get rich, they do it because they want to save lives. Lives that were thrown away
So the message here is SPAY & NEUTER YOUR PETS!

Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014
Article comment by: Highly Amused

Do they have someone who is trained to make these 'unadoptable dogs' become adoptable? Sometimes all it takes is an extra little bit of love, reassurance and compassion for those 'troublesome' dogs. Perhaps then they'd take on more dogs LOCALLY instead of from out-of-state.

I, too, love animals, but if it's suffering in some way then it needs to be put down. If it's acting out, it needs to be re-habilitated. Why is it that we're so willing to 'waste' money on humans for rehabilitation that doesn't always work, but we won't do the same for animals?

Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014
Article comment by: benefit local area

If part of the agreement was to take animals from the local shelter, then that is what they should do. Otherwise they should pay more or let another non profit organization take over. If they have the advantage of $1per year rent then do what benefits the City and abide by commitments of contract. Quit bringing in animals from other areas, unless it is just a profit issue. How did they get this contract anyway?

Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014
Article comment by: me me

The " list of benefits" would be the same for animal control??

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: If that is true....

@ concerned about/care

If that is true from 2009-2013 they've only taken 20 animals from the shelter. That's an average of 5 per year so WHY would they need to import Animals from Henderson, NV when so many Animals from Mohave Co. need help locally?? So I ask, how does Mutt Matchers help this Community with any great significance?? With their 220 evaluation process no wonder why they currently have only 6 Dogs at the building. I tell you what, my own personal Dog would probably not pass the Test either, but I still adopted her anyway from the County Shelter because she loves me unconditionally & she's the perfect Dog for me!!

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: concerned about/care

I am sorry but Mutt Matchers has the money, they pay the City $1.00 per year, part of the contract is to get there animals from the shelter, since 2009 they have only taken 20 animals from the shelter. they have however been getting some from Nevada. what a scam, its our shelter and now they make money from dogs not from here?

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: eleanor hartmann

BIT OF CRAP all the rescue org are. get rid of all these stupid laws and help the dogs that need homes. Some want love. older sick ones need to be put to sleep, it is cruel to keep them alive,BUT THEY HELP GET MONEY FOR THESE ORG. there are org here that could give RUFF some dogs to adopt BUT THEY HELP GET THE ORG MONEY.

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: Vivian Hadlock

This organization began with no one making money. This is not a puppy mill. They do not take on any more than they are allowed and they take excellant care of each animal. Abide by all rules and regulations. Go after the one's that take on more than they can afford and or handle. Leave the organizations that have proven throughout the years that they care about what they are doing and leave them alone.

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