This story was written by Associate Regional Editor Sherri Lonon.
Recent controversy surrounding Hillsborough County Animal Services, its management and the care given to animals aside, the agency still has a job to do and it needs residents’ help to make it happen.
That’s the message coming from the beleaguered agency as it tries to put the past behind it and forge ahead with a plan to increase animal adoptions while reducing its euthanasia rate.
“Despite recent challenges with staff transitions and increased intake of animals, the shelter remains a great, affordable choice for pet adoptions,” a media release from the county states.
To make adopting more convenient for residents, the shelter is open 7 days a week, including most holidays.
The agency and its director, Ian Hallett, have come under fire in recent months as red flags have been raised about poor conditions at the shelter. Several top staff members have resigned their posts and the county has had to call on consultants to seek advice for a turnaround.
In an effort to improve the climate at the agency and adoption numbers, Animal Services is taking steps to correct its course, the county says. It is doing this by:
- Asking for advice about potential shelter improvements from such groups as the Hillsborough County Veterinary Medical Society, Animal Advisory Committee members and rescue groups.
- Working with the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps to bolster staffing levels.
“Our goal is to continue to make it easier and affordable for citizens to find their new pet any day of the week,” Hallett said in a media release. “We are very optimistic about moving forward with the recommended operational improvements which are aimed at helping our residents to Be the Way Home for animals in shelter care.”
Animal Services takes in an estimated 20,000 dogs and cats each year. About 12,000 of those animals are euthanized.
For more information about adoptions, visit the agency’s website.