April 11, 2007
complaints about Animal Control and having issues with the
past two Animal Control officers, the BOC appointed an animal
control committee to give them recommendations about how
Animal Control was handled in Jasper County.
met several times during December 2006 an in January and
February 2007 to meet with the new Animal Control officer
(Amber Castleman) and get her input as well as to discuss
problems, ideas, and issues.
Animal Control Committee recommends:
The fee for dumping animals be increased to a $500 minimum
per animal, that signage be installed at the center, and
that the animal control officer answer to either the sheriff
or the county manager, not the planning & zoning director
as she currently does. Also, the committee recommends that
at least one cage remain empty at all times for rabies,
dog bites, and other emergencies; that a website be used
to post pictures of the animals picked up by animal control,
that volunteers be utilized, and most importantly that energy
be spent on educating the public on the importance of spaying
Read the complete
details on all the recommendations:
from Committee Members regarding Animal Control
Presented to Jasper County Board
April 2, 2007
The AC facility is not identified with a sign or any other
type of ID on the building. There is not a sign on the road
pointing to the AC facility. The phone number for AC is
not in the phone book.
AC committee recommends a large sign at the intersection
of Hwy 212 and Mack Tillman Dr. with days, hours, and
• The AC building should be identified with a large sign
visible from Mack Tillman Dr.
• The Animal control vehicle needs information posted
on it with phone numbers.
• Someone must be responsible for having the number in
the next phone book.
There were questions as to where calls should be made --
to 911 as they are now or to Animal Control directly.
Committee recommends that the calls should continue
to go through 911 so there is a legal recording of all
• These 911 records will enable the BOC, supervisor, and/or
the committee to later compare how many calls are received
and how many are being responded to.
The AC officer mentioned at a previous meeting that she
does not have time to keep a log. Several members expressed
concern that a log would be for the officer’s own protection
as well as documentation as to what she does and when.
committee recommends that the AC officer
must be required to keep a log for protection
as well as documentation.
• This should start immediately..
Volunteers have seemed to be discouraged by our County Attorney,
yet most other shelters are either run by volunteers or
have volunteers help in a big way.
• The Commissioners
find a way to use volunteers to answer the phone,
do and/or file paperwork, “show” animals to prospective
“adopters” of the animals, etc.
• Senior groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc. would be
potential volunteers as well as high school students interested
in a career as a vet or other area with animals.
• Any and all means should be employed in using volunteers
as much as possible to reduce cost and to give the AC
officer time to keep her log.
Supervision of the AC officer—At present the AC officer
has been under the “supervision” of the Planning and Zoning
Director. Two possible supervisors mentioned at the meeting
were the Sheriff or the County Manager.
70% of the Committee
felt the Sheriff should supervise because this is a law
enforcement issue and is on duty 24/7 as well as the fact
that the AC officer may have to have a deputy with her at
times. However, the Committee does not recommend that the
AC officer be a deputy.
Committee recommends the BOC should decide between
the County Manger and the Sheriff.
• The Committee was in total agreement the AC officer
should NOT be supervised by anyone at Planning
& Zoning, including the Code Enforcement officer.
• The Committee also agreed that Code Enforcement should
be Code Enforcement, not Animal Control.
In the job description of the AC officer it states that
the job is to “Control the animal population” and mentions
part of the officer’s duties is to “Patrol the County.”
members expressed concern about both these areas in the
The committee recommends:
• The #1
priority should be to respond to calls. There should be
no patrolling of the County “looking” for animals.
• It was also agreed that if she happens upon a problem
while she’s out, she can address it … but she does not
need to go looking for a problem.
There are only 14 cages at the AC facility.
committee recommends that ONE should be empty
at all times for rabies, dog bites, and other emergency
• The committee recommends that AC NOT
to pick up any more animals except in emergencies if all
the cages were full.
• The AC officer should contact anyone calling and tell
them she doesn’t have room at that time and recommend
a course of action or take a trap to the caller.
• This goes along with “patrolling the county” and picking
up animals just because “they are seen out.” Recommendation
6 addresses this situation.
• The committee recommends that the building
be redesigned, added to, and/or restructured to provide
more than 14 cages/pens. The committee agreed that the
building was not designed well, has no outdoor runs for
the animals, and no place for the animals to be except
in the cages—even while the cages are being scrubbed with
• The committee recommends that an outdoor
fenced area be installed as soon as possible. This would
allow the AC officer to clean the cages while each animal
is put outside for fresh air and exercise while its cage
The committee received some information on buying a crematory
vs. having euthanized animals picked up. Complete figures
as to actual costs have never been obtained.
• The need
actual cost comparison of crematorium vs. other methods
of disposal—this includes cost of time spent, time traveled,
actual utility bill increases, etc. The committee did
not receive enough information to make a recommendation.
There is agreement that there is more involved than the
basic cost of a crematory.
• The committee concurs that Jasper County has bigger
issues to clear up before jumping into more.
• The committee concurs that educating the public will
far more beneficial to the entire program in the long
The ordinance as it is now written seems to be written more
for a suburban area rather than a rural area. People with
acreage do not feel they need to have their dog on a chain
or in a pen all day long.
The current AC officer has rewritten the ordinance, which
the AC committee did not have time to review.
• The BOC
or the AC committee research other agricultural counties
who have already implemented successful programs. If there
are effective plans being utilized, then we don’t need
to be wasting our money by starting from scratch.
• Once a new ordinance is written there should be public
meetings to garner public opinion.
Fines should be imposed for people “dumping” animals, especially
in densely populated areas such as subdivisions and towns.
committee recommends heavy fines for dumping. Even
though some members recommended fines as high as $2500,
the consensus is as follows:
• A minimum
of $500 per animal for the first
• For the second offense the fine should be $750
per animal as well as community service.
A website would be the best/easiest way to get the word
out about the animals that have been picked up as well as
those that can be adopted. The county is paying for a website
that is not being utilized now.
• Any animal
that is tagged and/or appears to be a pet that is picked
up by AC needs to posted on the county website with a
• The county employee in charge of the website could upload
information and pictures from the AC officer –or from
• Volunteers would be perfect and helpful in taking pictures,
writing a bio, and helping with the website.
• The county should also utilize “Petfinder ®”, which
is the website most used for finding pets that are lost
or to adopt.
• The county should budget money in the AC budget for
ads in the paper and work with the paper for a monthly
column to educate the public.
Spay and neuter clinics were discussed as well as “forcing”
the animal to be spayed or neutered after the 2nd time it
is picked up.
recommends that the County Attorney find out if it is “legal”
or not to force a pet owner to spay or neuter his pet after
it is picked up more than once.
The job description of the AC officer has not been thoroughly
reviewed nor have the ordinances.
committee recommends that the BOC appoint a standing Animal
that will continue meeting to review the job description,
the ordinances, and to hold hearings in disputes as required
(per the AC officer).
committee recommends once a new ordinance is written
it should be put out for public scrutiny before adoption
for at least 2 weeks and be in the BOC office as well as
in the Library for review.
comments made by Committee members about AC in Jasper County.
• Do not spend
our tax dollars reinventing the wheel!! Others have already
done this. Let’s talk with them and get their input.
• We must all work together on this issue and all issues
facing Jasper County. The citizens, employees and elected
officials need to continually strive to find positive
and maybe innovative ways to solve problems.
• Educate, educate, educate. The AC officer could educate
the public on the responsibility of animal ownership.
Perhaps her going into schools and doing a presentation
to the kids would help to begin to educate them as well.
• An “open house” would be a good idea. The public can
see the facility, meet the AC officer, and be educated
on the areas of responsible pet ownership.
committee consists of:
Mary Patrick, Chairman
Shelba Jean Morrison
** To keep the taxpayers of Jasper County, Georgia informed
as to where and how
their tax dollars are being spent.
** To keep the taxpayers abreast of local policies and
discussed and enacted.
** We advocate more open government, less government spending,
and lower property taxes.