Animal Shelter To Feel Bite Of Budget Cuts

A year ago, animal control had nine officers like Justin Williams out in the field.

"I love animals," he said.

Which is basically a job requirement since each day the department responds to roughly 40 calls, each of which they try to get to as soon as possible.

"A delay in response can make our job harder," said Director Jean Letcher.

And soon, due to proposed budget cuts, that job will be harder if the number of field officers drops from nine to seven.

"Today I worked 21st street all the way south, and Yale all the way east," said Williams.

Justin has felt the extra workload since last fall when two positions became vacant then weren't filled due to the hiring freeze. And now those positions are slated to disappear, which also gives strays more time to do the same.

"That's the bad thing about us being so short staffed and even more. You call in about a stray dog, by the time we get to it, no telling where it's going to be," he said.

They're also slated to lose an administrative position which will make it more difficult for them to be open to the public.

"Because those positions do dispatching and they process all our adoptions, return to owners. We need those people up front when the shelter doors open," said Letcher.

Feeling the pinch at animal welfare, with a caution to the public that they'll feel it too.

"Nobody really cares about animal control until they need them," said Williams.