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Animal Control nees help too
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Editor, It would be nice to see Liberty Humane Shelter move into updated facilities and have someone donate  land to them. However, that need is even more urgent for Liberty County Animal Control.
Animal Control is a high-kill facility which is overflowing with animals in desperate need of homes. When room runs out, those animals are given a lethal injection.
Additionally, the animals brought into animal control do not receive veterinary care. It simply serves as a holding facility until the animals are either rescued or killed. Housing animal control and the shelter together amplifies the spread of disease to animals on both sides.
The Liberty Humane Shelter is not county-run and must depend upon donations, but Animal Control is run with taxpayer money. With more awareness, I believe the taxpayers would feel that there is an immense need for new animal control facilities.
I know many people believe these facilities should wait because there are so many other pressing needs. Many people feel animals should always come second to humans. It is important to understand that this is about people as well animals.
Stray animals pose a risk to everyone. They create hazards such as bite cases, attacks on pets and they can cause car accidents. These poor creatures litter our streets with their dead bodies, get into garbage, defecate on our lawns and so on. Feral cats form colonies and dogs form packs. Whether you view them as victims of mankind or just a nuisance, the fact remains that they should not be left to wander our community. Most people agree they should not be killed for the misfortune of being homeless.
With new facilities for animal control as well as a bigger budget, a great deal of change could be achieved. The health risk posed to otherwise adoptable animals and even to the staff could be greatly reduced. With bigger facilities, animals could have a longer time allotted to find rescue. Unfortunately, Animal Control does not allow adoptions to the public. While the shelter does pull animals from Animal Control, other rescuers must come in and work to find these creatures homes. With a change in policy and veterinary care offered, the public could adopt from Animal Control. When people refuse to keep their animals, they could surrender them instead of dumping them. Hundreds more lives could be saved and rescue volunteers could focus on community outreach, education, spay and neuter programs, vaccinations and foster care instead of spending time posting on craigslist and contacting other rescuers.
Less euthanasia and better conditions would also benefit Animal Control officers and staff who are often faced with heartbreak over their jobs. I know a lot of public anger is directed at these people, but having met them, I can assure you that it is not something they enjoy. They want so badly for the animals in their care to be saved.
I challenge Liberty County to step up and do what’s right, not only for the animals, but also for the officers, staff and the community.

Erin Ní Nualláin
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