Animal Shelter board approves including more veterinarians
by JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Jun 06, 2014 | 903 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cleveland Animal Shelter Board voted to accept a donation and implement a shelter adoptions spay/neuter program that would allow the city to provide greater compensation to the veterinarians who provide the service.

The amount charged to individuals adopting pets from the Cleveland Animal Shelter will not change.

Currently, Dixie Day Spay and Appalachian Animal Clinic are predominately used by the shelter because they agreed to do the procedure for $50. Pet owners had the option of using another veterinarian and paying the difference between what they charged and what was covered by the $50 adoption fee.

Veterinarians will charge up to $90 to the city, up to $40 will be covered by funds from the donation and the remaining $50 will come from the adoption fee.

“I personally saw this as a good compromise between the people trying to rescue the animals, the people trying to adopt the animal and the veterinarian for trying to provide a service,” Cleveland Animal Shelter chair and veterinarian Sally Poston said.

The last time a similar program was implemented the money lasted two years.

Poston and board member Jill Barrett voted for the motion. Board member Teresa Anderson passed on the motion. She said earlier in the meeting she wanted more time to look over the resolution.

Audience members expressed concerns that some animals would miss their appointments because they are too young or sick, and then never get spayed or neutered.

Animal Control director Gene Smith said the shelter keeps records with the veterinarians and clinics. Letters are sent to those who have not had animals spayed or neutered.

Pet adopters will still have the option to take the animal to the veterinarian of their choice.

Smith said the Cleveland Animal Shelter is seeing about one-third of the animals it did before the Bradley County Commission voted to contract with the SPCA of Bradley County to provide an animal shelter.

Smith said the lower number of animals is allowing personnel to offer more attention and care to the animals. He said incidents of illness among the animals has greatly decreased.

The board also approved a more specific outline of the “first-come, first-served” policy at the Cleveland Animal Shelter. The policy states that if two people want to adopt an animal at the same time, if one is from the county and one from the city, the city resident will be given preference. If two city residents are in the shelter and want the same animal, whoever commits to the animal and gets to the checkout counter first will be allowed to adopt.

The board also approved a volunteer coordinator for the shelter.