Local News

Durham sheriff's office could take over animal control

Posted April 2, 2012 7:35 a.m. EDT

— The Durham Sheriff's Office could take over responsibilities for animal control in the county.

Durham County commissioners will hear a report Monday from the county manager recommending that the sheriff's office take over Durham County Animal Control.

The sheriff's office assuemd day-to-day supervision of the animal control division in December after the abrupt resignation of its administrator Cindy Bailey. Sgt. Brendan Hartigan, a former animal control officer, became the interim administrator. 

The county manager's office began an internal investigation in December after the Coalition to Unchain Dogs complained that animal control had improperly impounded three puppies as strays, putting them in danger of being euthanized.

A report from the county manager's office states that the investigation confirmed that complaints and others about animal control.

The investigation found that animal control kept poor records, did not apply county policies, gave written instructions to staff that contradicted county ordinances and laws, lacked standardized training for staff and had a backlog of 20,000 rabies certificates that hadn't been processed properly.

The county manager's office recommends that the animal control division be permanently placed under the sheriff's office as of July 1. The sheriff's office will present a plan about the transfer to county commissioners Monday.

Commissioners aren't expected to vote on the recommendation yet.