Changes to Orange County Animal Services proposed

By Sheli Muniz, Reporter, smuniz@wkmg.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:52:27 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 05 2013 05:35:39 PM EST

Orange County commissioners heard recommendations from Animal Services after disturbing allegations surfaced.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -

Orange County commissioners heard recommendations on Tuesday from Animal Services after disturbing allegations surfaced.

The proposed changes would cost nearly half a million dollars, allowing them to hire more staff and provide a more streamlined animal intake and adoption process.

Orange County Animal Services has been in the doghouse since a dog was accidentally euthanized, then there were questions about how other animals were treated.

Dr. George Rawls with Orange County Animals Services told Local 6, "Everything that we have looked at here has been sort of like rational needs, what we really need to make our division more efficient."

Dr. Rawls laid out a road map, which included colored collars to identify adopted pets, 2 full-time veterinarians, plus a team to sign off on euthanasia. The six-person intake team would thoroughly enter an abandoned animal's information into a computer, evaluate its possible medical needs and test the animal's temperament.

Some proposals wouldn't cost anything, like more communication, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said she was on board considering her own daughter had a bad experience.

"We have a serious responsibility when we take in people's pets that we do our best to keep them alive and get them adopted out and if it takes half a million dollars more than that is what it takes," Jacobs said.

Animal Services also hopes to expand spay and neuter resources, as well as the microchip identification program.

Some of these goals are short-term, such as the color collars, would be implemented in the next 30 days, others could take up to a year.

The board votes on the new budget plan in January.

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