Tuscaloosa leaders address animal shelter concerns - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Tuscaloosa leaders address animal shelter concerns

The Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter. Source: WBRC video The Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter. Source: WBRC video

Could change be on the way to the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter? Tuesday, leaders debated who should run the shelter.

Right now, the city, county, and Northport fund the shelter. But the county believes it can do a better job running it.

"What we want to do is put in place a system that will have a high standard, a very high standard," Jerry Tingle, a Tuscaloosa County Commissioner said.

In the county's proposal, the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office would take over operations. The shelter would be staffed with a handful of employees including detention deputies and a medical tech. Inmates would also be used to help with daily clean up. We're told volunteers would continue working at the shelter too.

But the city of Tuscaloosa isn't sold on the idea and wants to form a committee to look at some of the issues like overcrowding, the high euthanasia rate, and keeping it clean.

"Whether it's with the continuing with the existing form with improvements, whether its looking at a new model, I have no doubt with our long standing relationship with the county and Northport that we can create just that model," Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said. "My fear would be if we react too quickly to this, we could all go down a road that we're not prepared for."

Several animal rights groups say there needs to be more transparency with the shelter. They say a lot of money goes into the shelter and they want to know what its being used for.

"We should have the right to know what's happening. How many animals are going in and why did they go in," Cindy Mitchell with the Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation said.

Tuesday afternoon, the city's pulic safety committee voted to create a task force made up of 2 representatives each from the city, county and Northport to try and work things out to hopefully make things a little better at the shelter.

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