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New Animal Control site in works
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Editor’s note: This is part II in a two-part series that examines the state of Liberty County’s Animal Control Department.

Animal lovers are worried about the current state of Liberty County’s Animal Control facility, but county officials say a new and improved building is on the way.
Anecdotes and personal stories from residents litter local blogs, and concerns center on the state of the facility where animals are housed when first brought in by Animal Control personnel. Crowded conditions, lack of regular veterinary checkups and poor cleanup appear to be chief among complaints.
Whatever the concerns, County Administrator Joey Brown said the county has a new Animal Control building on its list of SPLOST projects. Funds being collected through the tax will be used to help fund a larger, “state-of-the-art” facility to be built on the site of the former airport.
The current building sits on donated property. Two houses were modified so one side could house Animal Control; the other side houses the nonprofit Liberty Humane Shelter.
Brown said county leaders have looked at design plans for the new building, but the earliest stages of the project are still at least a year away. “A lot has to go into building a new facility,” he said.
Besides heating and cooling systems, the facility is slated to have more space and more efficient clean-out equipment. “It will probably function somewhat like Chatham County’s,” he said.
One other difference with the new facility will be public access. Brown reiterated that the facility’s purpose is animal control for the sake of public health; the current facility has made allowing the public into the holding areas a liability issue, he said. “The pens are close together, and it’s not set up for visitation.”
In the new building, he said, roomier conditions may allow for escorted visitation.
Additionally, Brown said, the Department of Human Resources also has requirements for the facility. Animal Control officers will have office space in the new building, but it will not be a shared facility like the current building.
Brown said while hiring a county veterinarian is cost-prohibitive, he praised local vets for donating their time and services to reviewing animals that are held at the facility.
In accordance with current county regulations, rescue groups will continue to be able to assist in placing unclaimed animals at the new facility into new homes. “We do love animals here, and we love to help them out,” Brown said.
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