Bibb Commission Meeting Addresses Animal Shelter Problems
The Bibb County Board of Commissioners addressed community concerns on Tuesday at the Bibb Commission meeting about the animal shelter and animal control officer Van VanDeWalker’s resignation. His sudden departure left some people attending the meeting in shock.
"It just floored me. I felt like with him leaving, that was the last caring person."
Bibb Commissioner Lonzy Edwards said he wasn’t pleased with the sudden resignation.
“I was not happy about it, but again people make their own decisions."
VanDeWalker leaving is one of many incidents that include the increase in adoption prices and euthanasia’s to happen since the county acquired the shelter on July 1. The commissioners listened to spokespersons from the Georgia Department of Agriculture and Macon-Bibb County Health Department discussed concerns about quarantining animals and overcrowding at the shelter.
"No more than eighty because you just can't house that,” Animal Protection Agent for the Department of Agriculture Wendy Hilliard said.
A new statistic that Edwards said he didn't know.
"I've been telling people that the compactly did not change on July first when we took over,” he said.
“Actually, I was wrong about that, it did change. It went down."
The shelter is beyond its limits and Interim Director, Deborah Biggs, shared why the shelter can't respond to calls at this time.
"I’m sorry we can't go out and pick up the stray dog because we don't have a place to put it," Biggs said.
She said in the last six business days, there were calls on 269 stray dogs and 85 cats that the shelter couldn't pick up. As of Tuesday morning there were 73 dogs and 22 cats in the shelter. A number significantly higher than the recommended 80 and Edwards said if people and animal groups don’t adopt, the consequences are deadly.
"We're talking about an inevitable resumption of euthanasia and that to me would be most unfortunate."
The commission appointed a committee on Tuesday to look at locations for a new shelter.
Edwards will head it and said he wants a shelter built in the next twelve to eighteen months to help solve many of the shelters problems.