Saturday, December 4, 2010

Animal Control

The Animal Control Committee.

This is definitely a committee assignment that is discussed the least amongst businesses, professionals and others within my peer groups in Robertson County. Yet, this committee has generated the most consistent discussion amongst constituents and has proven to be one of the more time-intensive committees I am apart of on the RCC. Make no mistake, I am not complaining, but I just find this interesting.

Hey, what other committee assignment would I get to discuss African Wildcats?

Not surprisingly, as you can imagine, we generally oversee Robertson County Animal Control. As with anything in government, it is not as simple as discussion and generating a budget. We were immediately immersed in some areas that I will be discussing in the coming weeks since we have been asked to tackle the task of sorting, sifting and formulating a plan of action based upon the safety of Animal Control employees while weighing enforcement of ordinances and laws in Robertson County.

Monthly Meeting -

At our Thursday, December 2, 2010, we were presented an interesting opportunity by Donna Wilkins and a collaborative effort by the Robertson County Players. Mrs. Wilkins is pursuing an effort with the PetSmart Charities "Rescue Waggin'" effort. From their website:
Our Rescue Waggin' program is comprised of three parts:
A pet transport program: We relocate dogs and puppies from areas of high homeless-pet overpopulation (where they face almost certain euthanasia) to shelters in areas where adoptable dogs are in demand. This program operates under professionally-developed industry standards for originating and receiving shelters, spay/neuter and animal health practices and humane transport.
Capacity-building grants: This funding helps expand local spay and neuter services for dogs and cats and improve shelter facilities, operations and adoptions for agencies that send dogs and puppies on the transport vehicles.
Funding and professional consultation: This support helps improve shelter facilities and operations for participating animal-welfare agencies.
Our Animal Control struggles with finding a balance between meeting the needs in the community versus the need to foster adoptions of the animals. Meaning, far too many of our animals are euthanized.

This effort will help! Essentially, the effort is to private raise funds, labor and resources from the community to build additional kennels for this project since the requirements set forth would require animals eligible for this program to be set apart while being tended, and made ready for transport. What a tremendous opportunity we have here for this program, and it is such a great effort when private and public efforts work in a collaborative way.

If you would like to help, or would like to know more of this effort, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.


  1. We have TRIED desperately to work with the Rescue Waggin program. As a foster for animals, along with other fosters and animal lovers, we attended a meeting for this over a year ago. It was literally like something you would see in a horror movie! I have NEVER seen as much ignorance in one room in my entire life. We have a huge problem with strays, and after the meeting, it appears nothing will change.

  2. When are we getting together?

    Who did you meet with previously?

  3. We continue to raise money to build 15 new kennels which just so happens to be the minimum number of puppies or dogs that PetSmart's Rescue Waggin' will pick up from a source shelter and transport to more adoptable areas of the county. I Could Have Been Adopted has raised over $11,000.00 since Feb. . As I understand it Robertson County has not been accepted into the Humane Industries PetSmart Rescue Waggin' program as of this posting. However a report from the RCAnimal Control in March indicated that healthy, good tempered animals are being transported to "low kill" shelters in communities within about 2 or 3 hour drives from Robetson County. The euthanasia rate has gone from 81% in fiscal year 2009/2010 to 69% from July 2010 to March 2011 . The feeling of most of the donors hoping to build more kennels is that even if not accepted by PetSmart's program, the extra room would allow us to house healthy, good tempered animals longer giving them a better chance to find a home thru the efforts already in place at RCAnimal Control(in the first two weeks of March alone, I was told that 35 animals had been transported) We have even found volunteers who are willing to transport some of these animals by having caged animals placed in their vans, transport them to designated shelter, have them unloaded by staff and return home with empty carriers. No charge to Robertson County and no libility as far as we can acertain since the volunteer would not be touching the animals.

    I have dealt with Chris Rawls and find him to be as dedicated to those he serves as possible within time and budget constraints. A politician he is not but he does realize that his first responsibility is to the people thru control of animals in the county and that the county facility is not a shelter. However, he loves animals and wants to save as many as possible thru adoption. I Could Have Been Adoptted donors are concerned about the proposed cuts to Animal Control. It has even been suggested that the department be dissolved. I have spoken with Steve Haley and Kevin Gray, my two commissioners. I have spoken with Clyde Richert, the county attorney and I have spoken with Shane Shoemaker, my aldeman. What an opportunity to combine the Springfield Animal Control and the Robertson County Animal Control. What a shame it was not done in the first place. Greenbrier Animal Control could even be added to the mix. It makes perfectly good sense in all ways to do this...I wonder if territorial posturing can be put aside to work for the betterment of the whole? I Could Have Been Adopted is going on with its project..not only have we raised 2/3 of our goal of 17,000 but we have built a base of potential volunteers who can help our animal control facilities save the lives of more animals and save the taxpayers some money. Donna Wilkins, co-chair, I Could Have Been Adopted 384-6022