About once every two weeks, the call comes.
A herd of goats are loose and need to be contained. An owner of a horse left a gate open. A cow is wandering in a roadway.
Michael Delp, director of the Johnson County Animal Control, currently only has a few options to deal with large livestock he and his team have been tasked with rounding up and protecting until their owner can be found.
They can find a nearby farm who will keep the animals until their owner can be found. Or they can be kept in a small, cramped animal pen.
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In a few months, that will change.
David Purdy, a junior at Franklin Community High School, is building the animal shelter a large barnyard pen to hold livestock that need temporary homes until their owners can be found. He hopes the project will earn him the coveted honor of Eagle Scout.
Purdy has spent some time at the Johnson County Animal Shelter volunteering on landscaping and other small projects.
And he remembered when his mother told him about loose goats around the highway.
Purdy worked with Delp on the idea of building the large livestock pen for his Eagle Scout project.
“It will just be something so they don’t have to outsource animals around farms,” Purdy said.
The number of calls animal control gets regarding loose livestock is expected to increase, as more families are expected to move into rural areas for the first time, Delp said.
And storms knock out fences, allowing livestock animals to run free and some people will just forget to latch a fence, allowing a larger animal free reign, he said.
“David is certainly filling a huge need for us, and we are fulfilling an opportunity to get an Eagle Scout,” he said.
The pen is expected to cost $1,000 to $1,500. A local hardware store is donating some supplies and giving a discount as well, Purdy said.
Purdy is making up the difference by selling homemade fudge and discount cards to his family and friends.