Supervisor who voted to cut animal control funding captures dogs

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, June 16, 2015

District V Supervisor, Sandy Kane Smith, along with District II Supervisor, Malcolm Perry, went out to the Apple South Subdivision Monday morning to pick up two stray pit bulls.
Apple South is located in Carriere just south of McNeill on Highway 11.
Smith said he started receiving calls about the dogs Saturday evening, which continued through Sunday.
“Once more calls started coming in on Sunday that’s when I started making preparations to go get them,” said Smith.
The dogs had been abandoned, and were being fed by residents, said Smith.
Smith and Perry went to Apple South Monday morning to catch the dogs and bring them to the Pearl River County SPCA.
“We went out there with our kennels and used treats to catch them,” said Smith.
Smith said the dogs were not vicious, and were easy to catch.
The dogs are currently housed at the shelter where they will wait to be adopted.
This is not the first time Smith has had to pick up a stray dog, he said.
Pearl River County has no designated animal control officer, which is a problem Smith admits needs to be corrected.
“We need to come up with a plan really soon,” said Smith.
In preparation for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, Smith, along with two other supervisors, voted to cut animal control funding completely, according to budget documents filed with the county. At that time, Frank Graves was acting as the animal control officer for the county. However, according to Smith, Graves was not fulfilling every area of the position correctly.
“He would go out and get a cow or a horse out of the road, but he did not really like to deal with dogs or cats,” said Smith.
Even though Graves was acting as the animal control officer, he did not have any formal training.
“That is why I voted to cut it, the funds were not being utilized correctly. If we are going to have someone designated to animal control it needs to be done properly,” said Smith.
Smith is not the only person who agrees the lack of an animal control officer in Pearl River County needs to be addressed.
“That is something we need to work on maybe this budget year,” said Perry.
Donnie Saucier, who is running against Smith this year, also agrees this issue should be a top priority.
“It’s a public safety issue, it frees up deputies to deal with other things,” said Saucier.
District I Supervisor Anthony Hales also recognizes the need for an animal control officer.
“It’s an election year, people will do things in an election year,” said Hales.
However, Hales said it is hard for him to understand why the same people who made the decision to cut the funding are making complaints.
“If board members do not want to fund certain things, I don’t understand why they are surprised when those things are not there,” said Hales.
Hales voted to continue funding the animal control officer during the 2012-2013 fiscal year, according to the county documents.

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