Advisory Committee for animals set up

The new Anderson County Animal Care Advisory Committee had a productive organizational meeting on Monday evening, Aug. 2.

About 15 people including committee members and interested animal lovers were in attendance.

“This whole body is about helping the mayor,” Jay Yeager, law director for the county, informed the group.

He told them they were an advisory committee whose purpose was to make recommendations to Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank, who is responsible for the operation of the animal shelter.

It was announced Monday the mayor will soon be announcing a new director, and the mayor and the new director will be present at the next committee meeting.

Yeager informed the committee that they have four ex-officio (non-voting) members.

They are the mayor, the law director, the county veterinarian and the animal shelter director.

The committee discussed the resolution that was recently approved by the County Commission setting up the committee and describing operating conditions for the animal shelter.

The resolution calls for a nine member committee consisting of three commissioners, two members of the community with professional expertise and education in animal care or veterinary science, two with ties to animal rescue groups, and two interested in animal care.

The purpose of the committee is to assist the mayor and the director with operational oversight and development of programs and policies.

“This is an idea to get you started,” Yeager said of the resolution.

He said it was a guide and that the committee could expand or reduce it.

The resolution lists 27 items under “goals, objectives and primary duties.”

Committee member Steven Newby suggested setting up subcommittees and timelines for obtaining those objectives.

Newby also noted that there is currently no accountability for drug control and keeping track of animals brought into and out of the shelter, He suggested acquiring software to help with this accountability.

Members were requested to submit copies of operating procedures and protocols from other shelters to be used by the committee in preparing such documents for Anderson County.

Yeager said the mayor had approved a contract to construct a website for the animal shelter.

It was noted that there were people with different areas of expertise at the meeting.

Because of a parvo outbreak, the shelter is currently not taking in owner-surrendered pets.

The committee recommended to the mayor that animal rescue groups be charged only $25 for adoptions and that that fee be waived during the current parvo situation.

They also recommended adding a member of the sheriff’s office as an ex-officio member of the committee.

The committee learned that cameras will soon be in place at the animal shelter for protection and policy control. They asked that the finance director or his appointee be invited to appear before the committee to discuss the animal shelter’s financial condition.

The committee will make recommendations on the design of a new animal shelter.

Commissioner Tracy Wandell was elected chairman and Steven Newby was elected vice chair of the committee.

The first Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. was set as the meeting date for the committee.