Commission Chair Bill Simonds showed his frustration Tuesday night during the board of commissioners meeting following a series of complaints about the county’s handling of the Animal Control facility.
During the January meeting, Jan Eaton with Tri-State Pet Rescue expressed concern for the animals at the county’s animal control facility. This month, Eaton and several others were now outraged over the situation. Eaton said she returned animals after an adoption event on Saturday February 9th and told Animal Control employee Luther Patterson that she would return Monday morning, because she knew they were full and needed space. She then told Patterson that she would return to pick up two particular animals.
“Come Monday morning, I left two voice messages at Animal Control letting them know that I was still coming and I never got a call back,”
“Finally at approximately 10:20 am, I got an answered phone call from the manager at Animal Control, at which time he informed me he was a few minutes late for work and once he had arrived, he found that the two animals I was coming to pick up were already euthanized."
Eaton offered the BOC a proposition for Tri-State Animal Rescue to take over the operation of Fannin County Animal Control. The commissioners neither accepted nor declined the offer.
In addition to Eaton’s request, several others showed frustration with the situation at Animal Control.
“Jan Eaton has spared Fannin County from being a county with a higher kill rate,”
Ralph Garner said,
“In April of 2007, a 17 year old Irish Setter that was micro chipped was put under a mere three hours after being retained. Jeff Ferguson was demoted due to an investigation held at that time. I ask you to consider his history and this incident when determining his employment eligibility.”
Darlene Fike and James Vonn also commented on the issue. During the meeting, the crowd overwhelmingly supported Eaton and the animals.
Later, Simonds showed his frustration when he read the ordinance regarding animal control, saying that from this point on dogs will be euthanized after being in custody of Animal Control for three days.
“Everyone that's here regarding Animal Control, please raise your hand,”
Simonds said. Twenty people raised their hands.
“Well, I'll have John go unlock the door for you and all of you go pick you out a dog to take home with you and the problem will be solved,”
he said. Citizens in attendance showed their disapproval of Simonds' actions and one woman was even told to be quite and sit down.
Later, all three commissioners urged everyone to get along.
“A man is being accused and his job is being threatened and he isn't here to defend himself,”
Larry Joe Sosebee said.
The next BOC meeting is scheduled for February twenty-sixth at 5:15 P.M. at the Fannin County Courthouse.