Tom Allen is a member of the Anderson Co Council and the animal welfare committee which deals with issues involving the Anderson Co Animal Shelter. At a public meeting on Friday, Mr. Allen voiced one of the frustrations in addressing these issues:
“Half of Anderson County is in love with the animals, and the other half is fighting pit bulls and chickens,” Allen said Friday. “No matter which side you take, you are going to get beat over the head.”
That is quite the dilemma. On the one hand, you don’t want to side with the half who love animals (What have they ever done to help the local shelter anyway?) because that would anger the other other half. And of course you can’t just side with the criminals who are abusing animals because of that whole law thing. If only there was some clear way to distinguish the right thing to do here. Hmm. Puzzler.
Regarding the controversy surrounding the shelter allowing Fred Acker to take pets to CT to sell for $325 each, Mr. Allen spoke in favor of Mr. Acker:
Allen presented a binder that had a rap sheet for Acker about 2 inches thick, but then he said most of the charges against Acker had been dismissed and that one held up for a dog that was not up-to-date on vaccinations.
It’s good to know if my rap sheet ever gets thick enough to be measured in inches, I can count on the support of Mr. Allen, provided “most” of the charges have been dismissed.
“He’s probably not the smoothest person in the world,” Allen said. “He sounds pretty crusty, but he is not cruel.”
I so want this guy in my corner.
Also at the meeting, the subject of internal tracking of shelter pets came up. Some called for improvements but others pointed out that they are doing so much better than they have in recent years:
Five years ago, when the shelter had a different director, Anderson County lost more animals at the shelter than it kept up with. In the fiscal year that ended in June 2005, 7,745 animals out of 13, 236 that went to the shelter ended up missing or unaccounted for. That is 58.5 percent, according to an ongoing review by county-hired number cruncher and investigator Bob Daniel.
The shelter “lost” nearly eight thousand animals taxpayers were paying them to take care of in fiscal year 2005? This is the place people came to look for their lost pets? This is where good sams brought pets they found so they could be reunited with their owners? Oh my god.
Regarding the ongoing problem with rodents at the shelter, we get this gem (Fasten your Logic Seatbelts and brace for impact):
Shelter veterinarian Kyle Powell said Friday that one of the biggest problems at the shelter “is John Q. Public going from dog to dog to dog touching them all without washing his hands.”
Kyle Powell said something as simple as unwashed hands breeds the shelter’s problems with flies and mice.
I hate to point this out but you are a public animal shelter. John Q. Public pays for you to exist. The reason John Q. Public comes in and touches dogs (oh, the horror!) is because he is looking for a pet – which is the thing you are supposed to be encouraging. If I was a resident of Anderson Co and I read this, I’d get the feeling the shelter vet doesn’t want me coming there – that I’m a problem and a nuisance to them. Is this how they want the people of the community to feel?
Secondly – and let me state up front that I did not go to vet school – how do people touching dogs without washing their hands cause the shelter to have pest control problems? Seriously, HOW? Please educate us mere John Q. Publics.
Not to sound uppity but I’ve managed to keep track of 100% of the pets in my care – every year – and that’s even with my low-brow, dog touching ways. Why can’t Anderson Co get it together?