Make decision on Animal Services
The time has come to make an important and definitive decision in regard to Hernando County Animal Services.
This agency either needs to be funded to perform in a compassionate and humane manner by trained professionals or the commission needs to tell the citizens of Hernando County to expect inferior and substandard care at Hernando County Animal Services. It is that simple.
The county has been criticized for euthanizing, for not euthanizing, for poor record-keeping, for poor attitudes and poor service. Everyone has an opinion on how Animal Services should be run. You will never please everyone and it is time to stop trying.
This should not be about people-pleasing but about quality animal care with these decisions being made by trained professionals. When the recommendations from a well-respected and dedicated veterinarian go unheeded, it is obvious there are still serious problems at Animal Services.
The Humane Society of the Nature Coast has worked to be cooperative with the county's efforts to make improvements and six months was more than enough time to make the necessary changes. As professionals from throughout the state have stepped forward to donate services to assist at Animal Services, their offers have been ignored time and again. Why?
At a time when the budget is of great concern, why rebuff donated assistance from trained professionals? Instead animals are being left to languish and suffer. This is not acceptable.
A community of veterinarians and other professionals are ready and willing to be of assistance, but they will not put their professional reputations at risk to have their advice ignored and over-ridden in favor of well-meaning, but uneducated individuals.
Commissioners should accept the recommendation for added professional staffing at Hernando County Animal Services. If they cannot support this recommendation, please at least be forthright with the community as to the continued substandard care that they can expect from our county in regard to our pet population.
The Humane Society of the Nature Coast is available and willing to work with Animal Services in every way possible to make these improvements. We will not, however ,support substandard care of the animals in the county facility.
Joanne Schoch, executive director, Humane Society of the Nature Coast