More changes coming to Animal Care and Control

Published: .
Updated: .

Changes are coming to the city's animal shelter.

Work is already underway to make improvements at the Harding Street facility and the search is on for someone to lead Animal Care and Control.

The changes come as the shelter faces its sixth leadership change in six years.

Earlier this year former Chief Dan Shackle served an unpaid suspension for tipping off animal rescue operations about surprise inspections. He resigned a short time later. The deputy director also gone after an investigation.

An interim administrator was named, who is now heading up physical changes to the facility in the hopes of improving morale.

Spencer Moore served as the shelter's administrator for nine years in the 1990s. He's now heading it up once again until a new permanent leader is found.

His goal in the meantime: "To make the facility a little better working place in the hopes that will improve our productivity."

With 700 animals at the shelter at any given time Moore admits it can be a "high stress" job. He believes improving working conditions will relieve some of that stress and lead to better treatment of the animals there.

So aesthetic changes are underway. Fixing crumbled concrete at the entrance, adding flowers and a picnic table, and eliminating what he calls "clutter" are some of the improvements under Moore's limited watch. There is also a plan to hire a full time veterinarian at the facility.

"I very firmly believe that a good work area results in good productive work from your employees and here you're working with animals; and when you're spills over into the handling and treatment of animals," added Moore.

A search committee was formed to discuss the skills and expertise desired in a new administrator. That report is expected to be sent to the public safety director this week. And a nationwide search is likely to begin in the next few weeks.

"We want to improve the care of the animals...even more than that, give every adoptable animal a chance to be adopted," he said.

The city reports the shelter is at 55 percent capacity and 80 percent of the animals in the city's care are saved.

Learn about adopting an animal.