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Changes Underway at Animal Control

More on the way
AMARILLO -- The city of Amarillo is addressing the problems at Animal Control.
  
        The city manager, Jarrett Atkinson, detailed the changes already made at the facility during Tuesday night's city council meeting.

        Atkinson also discussed some proposed changes to make sure the shelter is not only in compliance with state law but is considered a top notch facility.

        Among the changes already made:  A licensed Veterinarian will be on site for the euthanasia process.  They will also provide additional training to Animal Control officers.

        They've also installed walk-on scales to weigh the animals.  Something the humane society had threatened to sue them over.

        The city council approved more than $98,000 last fall for improvements at Animal Control.

        That'll be used to replace kennel doors and fencing, security upgrades, ventilation and various other changes.

        City leaders say unless we help curb the animal population, the kill rate will remain high.

        That's why councilwoman Ellen Robertson Green proposed a registration system.

        "You get a tag from the city if your dog is registered.  If your pet is picked up by the shelter and it's not registered you have to register it.  If it's spayed or neutered it costs like $10.  But, if it's not, you pay about $100."  Robertson Green said.

        Robertson Green says this is only an idea at this point but other cities have this type of registration system.

        The city manager also wants changes made in how Animal Control staff interact with the public, such as improved interactions and showing more sensitivity.
   
        Atkinson also suggests rotating the staff responsible for euthanizing the animals.  That way, it's not left to  same people every time.

        Despite the proposed changes, some animal activists and others concerned about this controversy, want the director and assistant director of animal control removed from their jobs.

        Mike McGee and Shannon Barlow remain on administrative leave.

 


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