Beware of free kitties -- dead or alive.
The exotic animal collection presentation at the most recent Columbia County Commission meeting reminded me of the predicament parents face when a child brings home a free kitty. After trips to the vet, shots, and spaying costs coupled with the monthly cost of food, kitty litter, flea collars, hair-ball tonic and all the accessory items needed for feline bliss, that free kitty winds up costing a small fortune. I fear the same for Columbia County if the commissioners decide to accept the "free" animal collection.
From what I saw in the slide presentation, many of the animals were the same, and most were mounted heads or shoulder mounts. Four hundred stuffed animals will require expensive square footage for housing, and with one or two added per month, as promised by owner Soudy Golabchi, expansion of the building will be necessary.
Then there is insurance on the building and the $10 million dollar collection, electricity, probably special temperature and humidity control, including special lighting for the displays, plumbing, water, fire and security systems, handicap accommodations, liability insurance for the public, staff to greet the public and staff to clean the building and collection (400 hundred critters will require a lot of dusting and maintenance).
Other items would include special signs or plaques for the displays, brochures for advertising to the public, parking and landscaping and outdoor lighting. The "interactive" part of the collection wasn't explained, but one can assume there will be special wiring and electronic expenses as well.
The commissioners should beware of those ferocious free stuffed kitties (such as those mounted lions bringing down a Derby Eland). They aren't free at all.
Let the private and business sector have the responsibility for accepting and taking care of this donated collection. The county has more important projects on which to spend our tax dollars.
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