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    Two cats look out from cages at the Humane Society of Young County in February. The shelter gave a report to the Young County Commissioners Court Monday and the commissioners sought help with the housing of animals in need of quarantine. (Leader file photo)

County seeks Humane Society’s help with animal control problem

The Humane Society of Young County gave a report to the Young County Commissioners Court on Monday. The commissioners and Sheriff Travis Babcock also wondered if the shelter could help with county’s animal control problem.

Babcock said the problem Young County is running into is having a place to put animals and a way to transport them. Young County Judge John Bullock said the county has never had an animal control officer, so by default the sheriff department handles the calls.

“We had a dog last week that had bit a kid, we had to try to find a place to put the dog,” Babcock said. “Because everybody in the immediate area, we either couldn’t get a hold of them or they didn’t have a cage for him. (…) The other problem we are having is that by law, we can’t transport an animal in the same vehicle that we transport inmates because of diseases.”

He said the county was able to get a hold of the Olney animal control officer to transport the dog to Live Oak Veterinary Clinic in Jacksboro. Young County Judge Bullock said the court, years ago, adopted Texas Health and Safety code 826, or the rabies control act. However, he said they have waived the training rules because they qualify for an exception for being under 75,000 in population.

“My problem with (us transporting) is not having a staff that is qualified to go out and pick up or a staff that is qualified to handle bite quarantine dogs,” New Humane Society director Shelby Brogdon said. “When (former director) Hollie (Larance) was on staff, Hollie was an animal control officer prior to being director. We no longer have an animal control officer on staff. So, there is no one who is trained to go out in the county and pick up and there is no one is vaccinated.”

Brogdon said city officers and Graham animal control officer Kim Shawver have the gate code for after hours drop-off. She added the society has three outside in-take kennels, a bin with bowls, food and blankets. When rabies is a potential concern, the animal is placed in quarantine for a 10 day observation period as there is no other test available without decapitation.

“We have two kennels that are set up as a quarantine,” Brogdon said. “We have used them for bite quarantine, six for the county and Newcastle, three for the city of Graham and one for the city of Olney and one from outside of the county (this year.)”

Babcock and the commissioners asked if it would be possible for the county to fund and build a kennel on the premises of the Humane Society which could be used solely for county quarantine watch.

Brogdon said the Humane Society board was discussing the possibility of getting out of boarding quarantined dogs because they do not have staff qualified to handle a quarantined animal and because it takes up two kennels of dogs who could be held for adoption.

“I think our only question there is that we are supporting the Humane Society through our contribution to you on an annual basis and we got needs that you could meet for us,” Pct. 1 Commissioner Mike Sipes said. “We are just trying to get something for what we give, we need some help and you guys are the only ones who can help us. If you throw up your hands and say ‘no we can’t help you’ then other than that we are just funding an adoption agency.”

Brogdon said the county provides 11%, the city of Graham provide 15.5% and waives trash, water and sewage fees and 73.5% of their $205,000 budget is based of private individual donations.

Bullock said he has discussed the possibility of emergency management coordinator Gregory Coker taking on the animal control officer responsibilities including transporting animals.

For the rest of the story, see the Saturday, Aug. 31 edition of The Graham Leader.

The Graham Leader

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Graham, Texas 76450
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