The Lebanon Humane Society is closed temporarily.
The goal in Lebanon with the new board of directors is to look to the future. They want to reorganize, restructure, and make improvements to the shelter.
On Tuesday, 126 animals from the Lebanon shelter, were taken by the Humane Society of Missouri to St. Louis. The dogs and cats will be spayed and neutered and hopefully adopted there.
"Each of the animals will come in, they'll get weighed, seen by a vet. the vet will prescribe any medication they need," said an official with the Humane Society of Missouri.
Judith Koch is the new board president of the Lebanon Humane Society.
"These animals now stand a chance...but what I found when I got out there was an out of control situation. The place was overcrowded by about 50 percent. It was filthy. And we had animals that had been there, some of them, over two years," Koch said.
Koch added that after speaking with professional shelter consultant, it was recommended they get the animals placed at other shelters. By doing so, the board could make improvements to the Lebanon shelter, particularly cleaning, which board members recently worked on.
"They are going to be taking those animals and get them into a situation where they can find homes right away. Obviously if they've been in Lebanon for years, they weren't finding homes and we needed to do something different," Koch said.
Koch said that after an inspection from agriculture officials, they hope to have the Lebanon Humane Society reopened in about 30 days.
"What our plan now is going forward is we're going to spend the next several weeks redoing the building completely. We want to repaint everything, redo the floors and sanitize everything from top to bottom," Koch said.
One goal is to build a play area in the back of the shelter where the dogs can get needed exercise. Koch said another goal is to put only one dog to a run, instead of two.
"With one dog per run, they can actually have some personal belongings in their area with them. And secondly, with half the animals will have twice as much time to play with the dogs," Koch said.
She also stated that the rumors are false. She intends to keep the Lebanon Humane Society a no-kill shelter. Koch said the animals should not be euthanized based on age, space, or length of years the animal has been there.
"But what should happen in a situation like that is if we're overcrowded and the animal is not moving, is to work with other shelters in the area and get that animal moved to a place where it can have a chance in finding a home," Koch said.
The animals taken to St. Louis will also be analyzed for behavior, then put up for adoption by next week.
In the meantime, Animal Control will still be operating in Lebanon and all employees with the Lebanon Humane Society will be working on the improvements to the shelter.
Koch said the Missouri Department of Agriculture should be able to inspect the Lebanon Humane Society soon, with a grand reopening in about a month.
Koch also told KSPR that her goal is to establish standard operating procedures, on everything from cleanliness to preventing overcrowding in the shelter.
"We can't lose sight of the fact that these animals need loving homes. They were not designed to live in a shelter for years on end," Koch said.