Fayette County Commissioners voted 4-1 to euthanize a proposal for animal control brought by county citizens.
tacked onto the vote to approve the new euthanasia and management policy for the animal shelter, they showed that the talk about seeking the public’s input is empty.
There were so many residents at Thursday night’s meeting that some had to be turned away as they were already skirting Fire Marshal rules. They were pet owners, animal advocates, taxpayers, and concerned citizens. They wanted their voices to be heard because the animals can’t speak for themselves. These weren’t empty words from the crowd. They practice what they preach. They open their homes and their checkbooks, they spend countless hours volunteering at the shelter or with other local groups. They are the ones in the trenches doing everything they can to save lives.
And still, my critique is not with the decision to approve the policy itself and stop the ordinance and more with how it was made. I expected that the policy would be approved. While many didn’t like the thought of putting an expiration date on the dogs at the shelter, the reality is our animal control is understaffed, underfunded, and in a woefully outdated building. Director Jerry Collins has to work with what is given to him, and what is given to animal control has traditionally been little. That much was acknowledged by countless opponents of the policy. Something has to be done to help make their job easier, and I see where the policy is coming from.
What dropped my jaw to the floor is that, in a cowardly act after the public had their say and the floor was closed for discussion, the policy passed with the added clause to kill the animal ordinance in progress that has been a labor of love (and no cost to the County) for so many. With no chance for rebuttal, they put the ordinance down. They knew they intended to do just that, whether under advisement of staff or on their own accord, and they were sure not to let the public know what they were up to.