Local News

Critical Report Expected to Lead to Changes at Cumberland County Animal Control

Posted January 31, 2000

— A new report on Cumberland County Animal Control is critical of its operations. County commissioners asked for a study after a series of controversial decisions by animal control. An outside agency has looked at the operation and has released a long list of recommendations.

According to a lengthy report by the National Animal Control Association, or NACA, Cumberland County Animal Control lacks direction and long-term program commitment. The report says although employees strive to provide quality service, the report says many things are getting in their way.

NACA made more than 130 recommendations, including:

  • A new shelter with expanded hours
  • More training and staff
  • The establishment of policies and procedures
  • More public education programs

    "We've not kept up with the times in philosophy and the method of operations," says county manager Cliff Strassenburg. "The way we've been operating is what 15 to 20 years ago was the practice in animal control, but not today."

    The evaluation was conducted after several controversial moves by the department.

    Many county residents were outraged over a decision toeuthanize nearly 50 catstaken from a Fayetteville woman's home in August.

    In October, animal control officers weretrained to use deadly forceas a last resort. That is not supported by the NACA.

    Lynn Stone is a member of the Animal Control board. She says none of the recommendations comes as a surprise to her.

    Stone credits loyal employees for working with what they have.

    "We've seen what needs to be improved, what to do to improve them, and now we have to improve it," she says.

    Some critics and the director of animal control say they will not comment on the report until they have time to read the entire report through.

    The director and Animal Control board will now develop a course of action to present to county commissioners.

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