Animal agency gets new name, philosophy

Columbia County Animal Care and Control is now Animal Services.

 

The name change reflects a new philosophy for the agency, said Deputy Administrator Scott Johnson.

"We wanted to separate the enforcement action of Animal Services," he said. "We wanted Animal Services to be a service-rendering department. We didn't want the officers out there enforcing the code."

Animal Services is now under the County Administrator's office, instead of the Emergency and Operations Division.

Former Animal Services manager Linda Fulmer was reassigned to Emergency and Operations as an operations officer. Mr. Johnson now runs the program, and Code Compliance Manager Linda Glasscock will serve as the direct supervisor.

Day-to-day operations of the facility will be handled by Shelter Supervisor Joe Guerin and Field Supervisor Daniel Mayne.

Animal Services officers are no longer authorized to cite those violating animal safety laws.

"If there is any enforcement action that needs to be taken, then they pair up with a code enforcement officer," Mr. Johnson said. "They can cite somebody and take them before the magistrate."

Mr. Johnson wants Animal Services officers out helping pets and pet owners.

"I want them to be proactive in community service work and promoting responsible pet ownership," he said. "We've talked about going into the schools to talk about the importance of spaying and neutering your animals and how to properly care for them."

Mr. Johnson wants to boost the adoption rate, and include a grooming area in a facility set to open this year on Chamblin Road.

"I want to get away from the stigma of a dog pound," he said.

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com.