Changes made at animal pound
The Franklin County Commission voted Monday to move forward with changes at the county’s animal control facility located near Belgreen.
The county will remove a drop-off bin that had been at the site for residents to drop off animals after-hours and commissioners will seek to hire a full time animal control officer.
Former animal control officer Grady Parrish passed away earlier this year and no full-time replacement has been named.
Probate Judge Barry Moore said a new job description for the position has been created that would allow that person to meet new state and county regulations.
The shelter has drawn criticism recently, primarily as it pertained to the use of the drop-off bin. A group of residents from the county and the Shoals area petitioned the commission for major changes at the facility, arguing that animals were left there for longer periods of time than they should be and that conditions inside the bin were not habitable.
“I think this is a very positive step,” said Michelle Ray, a Sheffield resident who spearheaded efforts for change at the shelter.
“I think removing the drop-off bin will help a lot and hiring a full-time animal control officer will help also.”
Ray said she still hopes the county will allow volunteers to work at the facility so that an adoption program can be put into place.
“That, I am sure, will depend on who they hire and if they are open to allowing volunteers. But, overall, I think the commissioners did a lot to help solve the problem, especially in such a short period of time after it was brought to their attention.”
Riley Winstead, of Russellville, said he believes the new restriction limiting the facility to animals from Franklin County will make a significant impact as well.
“This is a very good step for the county and I think it will help,” he said.
Moore said he hopes the changes will make a difference at the shelter and the commission is willing to do whatever they need to make improvements there and to meet all laws.
“We feel this is a good avenue to start from,” Moore said.