Animal Control Officer is Also the Meter Reader
Tennessee - A report issued by the Comptroller of the Treasury, says that animal shelter training and standards in Tennessee are rockbottom. Not only is this a huge public safety threat, shelters are rife with animal abuse and neglect. The report recommends the state take a stronger role in oversight. Currently, animal control and shelter efforts are locally run.
According to the report, "Lack of written guidelines and standards paired with insufficient resources and an untrained small staff could lead to potential overcrowding, poor animal care and the possible spread of disease." The report also states that, "Untrained officers could pose a risk to public safety, as well as to animals and themselves."
Leighann McCollum, state director for the Humane Society of the United States, said, "If you are going to shelter animals, there needs to be some minimum standard of care. Anyone can set up a shed with crates in it and call it a shelter." McCollum said she regularly gets complaints about shelters, but with no regulatory agency, there's nowhere to turn.
She adds that across the state, there's no consistency in the operation of shelters. Some do have written standards they follow, but others don't. "In some counties, the animal control officer is also the meter reader," she said. McCollum says her agency hopes to do some additional studies of county animal shelters this summer so they can start working on legislation proposals.