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Animal control board supports spaying, neutering before adoption
by Liz Marino
April 24, 2013 02:01 PM | 2569 views | 1 1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Liz Marino<br>From left, Julie Hudson and LaShun Burr-Danley attend their first meeting as the city of Douglasville’s appointees to the county’s Animal Control Advisory Board last week.
Staff / Liz Marino
From left, Julie Hudson and LaShun Burr-Danley attend their first meeting as the city of Douglasville’s appointees to the county’s Animal Control Advisory Board last week.
The Douglas County Animal Control Advisory Board last week unanimously recommended establishing a program to spay and neuter animals before they are adopted.

Animal Control Director Rick Smith has expressed the need for such a program since he came into the position in November.

“You contribute to the problem when you release animals before they have been neutered,” he said.

He told the advisory board Thursday night he has worked out an agreement with local veterinarians who will provide spay and neuter services at a discounted rate for animals adopted from the shelter.

Under the new proposal, if adopted by Douglas County commissioners, a person adopting an animal would pay the adoption and microchip fee and a discounted payment for the spay and neutering.

Animal shelter staff would then schedule the procedure and transport the animal to the veterinarian, he said. Once the animal is ready to be released, the new owner would pick up the animal from the vet.

Smith said this method would be the only sure way to know the procedure had been done.

The advisory board also voted to recommend a plan for collecting a spay and neuter deposit for reclaimed animals.

District 1 board member Helene Combs abstained from the vote.

The plan would require pet owners whose dogs or cats have been picked up to pay a deposit agreeing to have the animal spayed or neutered within 30 days, if the animal has not already undergone the procedure.

Also at the Thursday meeting, the advisory board voted to recommend changes in the county’s cat ordinance.

The current county ordinance does not allow cats to be outside when not on a leash. Smith has written a proposed ordinance that would eliminate the leash requirement for cats.

“Dogs have a greater potential to cause problems if loose, but we don’t see the problems caused by cats,” Smith said.

People who complain a cat is being a nuisance on their property can take care of the problem themselves instead of calling an animal control officer, he said.

The county animal shelter has humane live animal box traps that can be borrowed for a $50 deposit. Smith said animal control officers could assist those who might need assistance with the trap.

Three residents — Sydney Arthur, September Folds and Lisa Shuten, all of Douglasville — came forward with comments before the board.

Arthur inquired how residents can work more closely with the shelter, especially through the use of social media. Folds read a prepared statement praising the work Smith has done in improving the animal shelter.

Shuten expressed concern regarding not being able to adopt an animal near the shelter’s closing time. Smith indicated that the problem had been resolved.
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