BARC Executive Director
In June of last year, I wrote that Baldwin County faced an animal control situation of epidemic proportions. Sadly, the crisis continues. The Baldwin Animal Rescue Center is unable to deal with the …
BARC Executive Director
In June of last year, I wrote that Baldwin County faced an animal control situation of epidemic proportions. Sadly, the crisis continues. The Baldwin Animal Rescue Center is unable to deal with the number of calls for assistance it is receiving. The four municipal shelters are beyond their capacity to accept all the strays and unwanted dogs and cats in the county. More and more animals continue to appear, having been abandoned by their owners. Monumental efforts resulting in 3,300 adoptions, as well as more than 2,000 subsidized spay-neuter surgeries have done little to alleviate the crisis. Over 10,000 animals were taken in by all shelters and rescue groups last year. If that number disturbs you, it is not unusual. The number of abandoned and stray animals picked up in the county has been in the thousands for several years.
Dealing with these animals is straining the resources of the animal rescue agencies. Those cities required by statute to appoint a full-time animal control officer and construct a municipal animal shelter, but have not done so, are placing an unfair strain on the system. Our county officials are dealing with animal control and animal cruelty issues on the cheap, dragging their feet on the construction of a modern animal shelter, expecting private citizens and non-profit organizations to clean up the mess. It is long past time to hold our elected officials accountable for their inattention to this issue.
I wonder what our new residents think of this and how they feel it adds to their quality of life? This county needs a modern animal shelter, and it is needed immediately. The existing shelter was built over 20 years ago and is inadequate to handle current needs. Our County Commission is dilly-dallying on the allocation of the resources necessary to construct this shelter. By ignoring their responsibility for animal control, they shift the burden of dealing with unwanted, injured and abused animals to a charity that has as its sole source of revenue donations from individuals, foundations and corporations.
If you care about animals and think the current situation is intolerable, call the County Commissioners and let them know how you feel. If you live in a city with a population of 5,000 or more without a shelter, call your mayor and City Council members and let them know how you how you feel. Otherwise expect a bad situation to get worse.