“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” - Mahatma Gandhi IF YOU can judge a county using the same criteria, then Barrow County has work to do, starting with the resources and attention our community and our county government pay to Barrow County Animal Control.
The first issue is funding. In 2008, before the economy tanked, the Animal Control budget was $587,000. In 2011, it was $438,500; that’s a 25 percent cut in four years. This year’s budget is $420,200, an additional $18,300 slashed since last year. During the same period, calls for service remained basically stable at around 4,000 per year. (There were 500 less calls for service in 2011, as compared to 2010.)
This means the people at Animal Control are having to do much more with much less and this is taking its toll on the quality and quantity of services we receive, as well as our public safety. Compare 2011 figures to those from 2010, and you’ll see about a 42 percent decrease in vicious animal (179 vs 313) and cruelty to animal case investigations (271 vs 453.) You will also see the number of citations issued cut in half (329 vs 650.) Court fines (income for the county) fell by 52 percent ($17,494 in 2011; $36,443 in 2010.) Requests for compliance were also down 33 percent (444 vs 718.)
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