The full Warren County Commission meeting went ahead as scheduled Monday night, but with a touch of sadness for the death of longtime Commissioner M.A. Bouldin, who passed away Friday.
A moment of silence was observed when Commissioner Bouldin’s name was announced during roll call. Bouldin’s family was also remembered during a prayer preceding the meeting. Bouldin died at 84.
The top item for discussion was animals that are turned over by their owner to Warren County Animal Control.
A resolution was passed to limit the acceptance of owner-surrender animals to certain extenuating circumstances. The resolution says:
“Warren County Animal Control shall not accept surrender of an animal by its owner based solely upon the owner’s wishes to no longer care for or maintain said animal. Warren County Animal Control may accept surrender of an animal in extenuating circumstances including, but not limited to, deterioration of owner’s health, residency changes due to owner’s deteriorating health, or death of owner.”
Commissioner Terry Bell asked, “Can we legally turn away animals with us being Animal Control?”
County Executive John Pelham said, “I personally believe if you’ve had an animal six months and then decide you don’t want it, it’s your responsibility to find it a new home. We have a desire to keep the animal population down.”
Commissioner Michael Martin said that before the Animal Control building was built, the Humane Society facility beside the fairgrounds was killing 95 percent of its animals. He speculated that was just the way it would be with stray animals.
Pelham said he was proud of how Animal Control has a low number of euthanized animals. He said rescues are also taking many dogs and puppies, which means they do not have to be euthanized.
Commissioner Blaine Wilcher said, “I look at this as one way we can try to get people to take responsibility for their pets. Will it work every time? No. But, it will help.”
The commission voted 17-5 to pass the new rules and regulations.
Commissioners voting no were Terry Bell, Michael Martin, Charles Morgan, Kenneth Rogers and Herschel Wells.
Commissioner Gary Prater was absent.