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Trumann officials getting heat, make improvements to city’s dog pound

TRUMANN, Ark. -- Trumann officials were trying to figure out how to deal with high temperatures in the city's dog pound Friday, after taking a lot of heat from dog advocates this week.

Volunteers with the local Pet Savers group often came in to help, but recently they said they got worried.

“We clean the pound on weekends. It was early in the morning, before 11 a.m. It was 83 [degrees] outside but the temperature had reached 98 inside,” said Brittany Smithson with Trumann Arkansas Pet Savers.

They said another pet group actually offered to donate an air conditioner unit to the building but the city told them it wouldn't be possible.

“I said no because that would be the equivalent of putting an air conditioner in to a garage," Trumann Police Chief Chad Henson said.

He said the building is on a concrete slab and only has metal roofing. Officials said it was only two years old but was built with a limited budget of about $50,000.

“We discovered this week it's extremely hot for the dogs. But if you just plug in a moisture-inducing AC in there, it will create mold," Henson said.

Instead, the city added a large fan and they’re trying to get the dogs adopted by waiving associated fees.

“To get them out of that building, we’ve done a faster adoption process. We’re down from 18 dogs to 4 dogs,” Henson said.

He said people from as far as Indiana and Little Rock have contacted the city to adopt dogs.

Even the police chief and his family took home a dog.

“We just adopted Dexter," Tyler Henson said of the third dog they're adding to their home.

The Pet Savers said they were satisfied the conditions have improved, but the new adoption solution didn’t sit well with them.

They decided to stop volunteering at the Trumann pound.

"In the rescue world, that’s completely absurd to give free dogs away. So as long as that’s an option we won’t be involved," Smithson said.

Meanwhile, city officials said they were hoping to budget for permanent improvements to the building in the coming years.