Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

October 23, 2012

Commissioners discuss change to Animal Welfare policy

VALDOSTA —  Lowndes County commissioners discussed a short agenda of four items Monday morning, including an amendment to the county Animal Welfare Standard Operating Procedure.

The change in the SOP would result in a mandatory 24-hour “cooling off” period before the shelter will admit animals brought in by owners. The period is intended to give owners time to think about whether they really want to get rid of their animals.

This policy follows a growing concern by the Lowndes County Animal Welfare division “due to recent events,” the agenda item states, in which owners sometimes have a change of heart and return hours later to find their pet has been euthanized.

The Lowndes County Animal Shelter immediately evaluates each animal turned in, which sometimes must be euthanized if they don’t pass the evaluation. These evaluations are intended to test animal aggressiveness and health concerns.

Under the new SOP, owners will have the option to decline the 24-hour waiting period. A clause will be written on intake forms reading, “NOTICE: Your animal will be immediately evaluated which may result in immediate euthanasia,” with a check box and a space in which to initial.

Due to public health concerns, the waiting period will not be observed for animals with owners requesting euthanasia, or that are aggressive to humans, that kill other animals, that are suffering from contagious diseases, or are injured.

Other commission items to be considered include:

• a request from DuPont to bore under the CSX railroad for the installation of a water line to service their property.

• whether to issue a refund totaling $29,000 in tax revenue to disabled veterans, following the recent discovery that the federal government has adjusted a tax exemption for these taxpayers.

• whether to award a bid for equipment to service the recently purchased rescue pumper fire truck. The low bid was issued by Municipal Equipment out of Orlando, Fla., in the amount of $34,903.40.

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