The ANIMAL CONTROL ADVISORY BOARD met Tuesday, March 15, 2016, at 2:30 P.M. at the Animal Care & Control Center.

Carla Anthony Dr McDermott Gail Simpson      
John Barwick Drale Short Tom Bryan
Kathy McCarley Pat Biegler
Tim Butts Dr. Reddick
Becky Carter

Lisa Jane    - (Muscogee County Resident)

Kathy McCarley called the meeting to order at 2:37 P.M.

Kathy McCarley welcomed and thanked all Board members present to this called meeting. Kathy McCarley stated we have a new Board member. Timothy Butts and asked each member to introduce themselves.  Each member introduced themselves and Kathy McCarley welcomed Mr. Butts to the Animal Control Advisory Board. Kathy McCarley requested Drale Short lead the meeting on what the Board would be discussing today.

Drale Short requested the Board members look at their informational packets. Drale Short asked the members to look specifically at the letter from Muscogee County resident Lisa Jane.  Ms. Short stated, Ms. Jane wanted to speak with the Board about the Animal Control Ordinance Section 5-7.1 in reference to an animal’s shelter. Drale Short stated, her interpretation of the letter from Ms. Jane is she would like the ordinance revised concerning what is considered an actual shelter.  Ms. Janes does not feel the carport is an acceptable means of shelter for a dog left on the outside.  The ordinance presently reads ‘carports are a means for acceptable shelter’.

Drale Short informed the Board any revision, deletion, or add on to an ordinance would have to go through the city attorney’s office for approval.  Becky Carter stated, she would be more inclined to question the issue of tethering. Drale Short stated, the issue would be a clarification on the facts surrounding what would be considered a permanent or non permanent shelter. John Barwick asked, what should be considered permanent and non-permanent shelter for the animals because the question would arise how a citizen can become in compliance without the clarification.  Drale Short replied, because of the wording, specifics of temperature, and questionable shelter, her officers investigate each situation and circumstance.  The dog could have appropriate shelter, but chooses not to use it during inclement weather. Kathy McCarley agreed the wording within the ordinance relating to shelter may need a better definition for what is considered shelter. Kathy McCarley asked if there were any more discussion, and Lisa Jane was invited in to speak with the Board.    

Kathy McCarley asked Ms Jane to speak to the Board about revisions she requested.  Ms Jane passed out a document with a list of revisions attached, relating to shelter.  Ms Jane stated, she has worked 14 years with animal rescues and feels a need for an ordinance revision to shelter requirements.  Drale Short informed the Board members and Ms. Jane to conditions of shelters requirement for an outdoor facility presently in the ordinance.  Drale Short stated, she believes when the ordinance was originally written all the outline specifics were not listed because it may be made on baseline for any animal owner.  Drale Short informed Ms. Jane the Board will discuss her specifics for revision at the next Animal Control Advisory Board meeting and send their findings/decision to the City Attorney office for clarification and legality. She thanked Ms. Jane for coming and would get back with her on the decision of the Board.  Ms. Jane was dismissed.

Drale Short told the Board members to scan the rest of their packets.  The impoundment zip code specifically  the 31907 area, report still has the highest percentage of intakes.  Becky Carter stated the intake numbers are a lot lower than in the past.  Drale Short stated the cause for concern means educating the public more is required.  Carla Anthony stated she believes a lot of animals may not be registered in that area and educating the owners of the necessary laws and care of the animal is necessary.  Carla Anthony asked was there a report with relation of the zip code and registered animal in the 31907 area.  Drale Short stated she would request a report from the IT department.

Drale Short informed the Board, the Best Friends Community Cat Project is doing very well and the number of surgeries for 2015 is listed in their packets.  She also informed them that a Pet Coalition was formed to address the animal issues in their area. The coalition is made up of local rescues and animal controls in Muscogee and Harris County.  The coalition applied a for a grant to get animals adopted and Best Friends issued the grant which included an employee work at PetSmart where each rescue or animal control would have a specific day of the week for their animals would be featured for adoptions.   So far, the combined efforts since the first week in February, a total of 22 animals were adopted.

Drale Short informed the Board, in her 2017 Fiscal Year budget she has requested 2 additional employees, funding for vaccines, and a small foster care program.  A request for a large animal barn added on to the Animal Care & Control Center to house large animals which get loose. Dr. McDrmott inquired where it would be located, Ms Short replied at the Cooper Creek Park horticulture area. Drale Short stated that was all the information she had for the Board.

Kathy McCarley gave out flyers for the Rabies Clinic for April 28, 2016 at the Civic Center.  She encouraged Board members to give them to citizens they have 600 donated vaccines.  The Health Department does not discriminate on where they live, all residents from surrounding areas are welcomed.  Timothy Butts asked was it feasible that Animal Control give rabies shots to all animals.  Ms Short informed Mr. Butts the funding is not available to vaccinate all animals impounded at the Animal Care and Control Center.  However, vaccinating these animals on impoundment will only provide our adopters with a healthier animal.  Many rescues and adopters are hesitant to receive animals from us because we don’t provide any form of vaccinations.  Kathy McCarley asked if anyone had any other discussion, none were garnered.

Kathy McCarley adjourned the meeting at 3:58pm.

March 15, 2016  
Kathy McCarley, Chairman
Contreana Pearson, Recording Secretary
C: Clerk of Council
ACAB Members