Augusta Commission approves full-time vet hire

By: Ryan Houston
By: Ryan Houston
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Augusta Commissioners approved hiring a full-time veterinarian in the hopes of euthanizing less animals.

(MGN Online)

News 12 at 11 o'clock/ Tuesday, June 3, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A full time-vet could cost the city anywhere from $60,000 to $100,00 and most leaders welcome the cost in order to keep more pets alive.

City leaders expect to have the position filled by the end of the year.

"I feel good that we got the position approved. It means we will be able to get more dogs spayed and neutered. Hopefully we are able to save more lives," said Animal Service Director Sharon Broady.

Augusta Animal Services Director Sharon Broady told leaders city workers euthanize more than 100 pets a week and no more than 6,000 a year. It's a shocking number to some.

"This is a community wide problem and not strictly to our animal control director. It goes all the way down to people who have pets and don't take care of them," Commissioner Donnie Smith said.

"I wish we had more debate about abortions. I mean nobody has talked about that. animals are animals and I love animals. We don't have the funds and I approved to have a veterinarian. At some point we need to have responsible pet owners," Commissioner Joe Jackson said.

Broady says the county by law can only release animals that have been spayed or allow the citizens to bring verification that it had been taken care at a later date. she says their voucher system failed with only 20 percent following the law. we're told the more dogs that aren't fixed lead to over crowding in the shelters.

"The government in the end certainly ends up with the responsibility of trying to take care of the stray population, we have in Augusta Richmond County," Smith said.

Adopting a pet in Richmond County could be a life or death situation.

Original report

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Augusta Commissioners approved hiring a full-time veterinarian in the hopes of euthanizing fewer animals.

Augusta Animal Services is having to euthanize more than 100 dogs per week.

They said they're in need of a full-time veterinarian to help get more animals ready for adoption. Its part-time veterinarian quit two weeks ago, the shelter said.

Augusta shelters euthanize a little more than 50 percent of the animals that come in.

In Aiken County, 70 animals per week were euthanized (71 percent) without a full-time vet on staff.

Two contract vets and two full-time veterinarian assistants prepare pets for adoption, the Aiken County Public Works Director said. In 2013, they said citizens adopted 829 out of 5,107 animals brought in and transferred 681 animals to other shelters and rescue groups.

In Columbia County, Animal Services said it does not have a vet on staff and three to six animals are euthanized each week. Thirty-five percent of animals brought in were euthanized in 2013, according to Columbia County.

Click this link to search animals on Petfinder.

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