The Council passed a motion made by at-large Councilman Richard Banks to change policy to keep any animal for a minimum of 72 hours with exceptions for vicious animals or at the discretion of the animal shelter director.
Previously, animals surrendered by an owner were not required to be kept for three days.
Banks said he had been contacted by several people who said some surrendered animals would have ben adopted if they had lived longer.
“If the volunteers are out there, and I think the money is out there through private funds, we need to get away from immediately euthanizing (these animals),” Banks said.
He said having volunteers place more pictures on the animal control website would increase adoptions and decrease costs.
City manager Janice Casteel said the animal shelter has kept surrendered pets as long as possible and as space allows.
Cleveland Animal Control director Gene Smith said the majority of the animals that come to the shelter are not strays but animals that are being given up by their owners.
“When they bring them in and they are signing them over we give them other avenues, the rescue people put it in the paper that they want to give it away. We give them other avenues to take to find their animal a home,” Smith said.
Casteel also told the Council someone had expressed interest in being the volunteer coordinator for the animal shelter.
Sometimes owners bring dangerous or vicious animals to animal control to be put to sleep because they cannot afford to pay a veterinarian to do it, Smith said.
Cleveland Police Chief Wes Snyder said expanding the current facility would be needed in order to keep more animals longer.
The Cleveland Animal Shelter website can be accessed at www.cityofclevelandtn.com/PoliceDepartment/animalcontrol.html.
Also during the voting session Monday:
- The Council voted to pass a resolution restating the City Council’s commitment of $2,010,010 for the Veterans Home, giving a 2016 ending date. An ending date was required by the state, otherwise the commitment is assumed void after one year. The motion, made by 5th District Councilman Dale Hughes, was passed unanimously.
- The Council officially adopted Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as a sister city. This is the site of locally based nonprofit People for Care and Learning’s Build a City Project in Andong Village, Cambodia. Mayor Tom Rowland said he would like to list the city’s sister cities on one of the city limits signs. Casteel said members could work on that. Cleveland is also a sister city of Slavyansk, Ukraine.