Animal Control: 5 Months Later

- AMARILLO -- The public demanded changes at the Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare department and they're getting it.  But, it comes at a pretty hefty price.

    Five months after the controversy over alleged improper euthanasia practices erupted at the department, changes continue today.  Now, we have an idea of what those changes will cost.

    The department's 2014 budget was originally $1.6 million.

    It was revised to more than $1.7 million once they started making changes.

    Now, they're requesting more than $2.3 million for the next fiscal year.

    With that money, the shelter is adding nine full time employees.  Four shelter staff, four field officers and a full time veterinarian.

    Most of the physical improvements are being done by city employees, so it's hard to calculate the man hours being put into fixing the problems.

    The humane society had threatened to sue the city over some of their issues, but seem happy with the changes.

    "Operating more transparently and there are no secrets here.  This is what it is.  We are a kill shelter that's not going to change anytime in the near future.  We need people to spay and neuter their pets and vaccinate their pets.  We're working  on educating the public.  We'd love for them to put us out of business."  Said Jena McFall of the Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society.

    Mcfall says the relationship between the shelter and humane society is much better.

    In fact it should get stronger.  Another big change at the shelter will be combining both offices into one building with one entrance.  That way they can better work together to combat the problem of pet overpopulation.
    Meanwhile, the search for a permanent director continues. Interim director Scott Mcdonald says he hopes to have a new person named to that post by December.

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