animal control

The commissioners listen as Dr. Danny Culbreth, a Thomasville veterinarian, speaks at Tuesday night’s commission meeting. Hundreds of people attended the meeting to protest the board’s recent decision to discontinue an animal control contract with the Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society.

The Thomas County Commission chairman told about 200 citizens Tuesday night the county governing body is not willing to “rehash” the animal control issue.

“We have had meetings, and we have heard the voices of the Humane Society,” Chairman Elaine Mays told the crowd.

Commissioners voted 6-1 last week to discontinue a longtime animal control contract with the Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society.

The Humane Society was denied the increased price for the service requested in late 2010. Officials of the organization said private donations can no longer be used to subsidize countywide animal control.

Commissioners — in a called meeting — approved an animal control program that is to begin Jan. 1, with a 2012 budget of $226,000 and $350,000 to $500,000 in start-up costs.

“Let’s work out this budget that will hopefully address all the taxpayers’ money,” Dr. Beckey Malphus, a Thomasville veterinarian and Humane Society board member, told commissioners Tuesday.

Some 5,000 animals went through animal control and the Humane Society animal shelter in 2010.

“A large portion of those were euthanized, and I think more will be euthanized in the direction we’re headed,” Malphus said.

Animal control performed by the Humane Society provides a unique public/private partnership, citizen Clayton Penhallegon told the board.

Penhallegon asked commissioners not to spend more money on animal control, to work with the Humane Society and to vote to negotiate with the Humane Society.

At that point, Mays said she was calling a “halt” to citizens speaking.

“We have not heard anything different or new,” she said.

To allow others to speak would be the same thing “over and over and over,” Mays added.

The chairman said she realizes emotions are high, and people are unhappy, but commissioners will make decisions people do not like.

Read more in Thursday's edition of the Times-Enterprise.


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