Animal control big issue in Greenville

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 16, 2005

In 2004, local officials destroyed over 900 animals that were abandoned or went unclaimed.

According to Allan Ingram, animal control officer for Greenville, that number is well above the national average for a city the size of Greenville.

Ingram said the shelter is at one of its peak times of the year and that more animals continue to be captured or brought in each day.

'We get most of our dogs from out in the county because someone drops off their litter of puppies on a side road," he said.

"Most people aren't aware that it is a Class-C felony in Alabama to abandon a domestic animal

and because of that, irresponsible people are responsible for the number of animals we have to put to sleep each year."

Once someone brings those animal in, the humane shelter is required by law to keep the animal no less than seven days.

After that, the animal can be humanely destroyed.

"We have kept some up to a month," he said.

"But still, you can't adopt them out at a rate that keeps up with the number we take in."

Ingram said one problem is that people won't have their animals spayed or neutered, and therein lies the problem.

Stray cats are a big problem in Greenville, Ingram said.

He said while you don't see many stray dogs running loose, you can see plenty of cats.

"We can't catch cats at the rate they multiply," he said. "Controlling the population is a big deal for us.

But cats breed at a phenomenal rate."

Right now if you want to adopt a pet at the Humane Shelter, the cost is $20. For $35, you get a certificate for your pet to be spayed or neutered at Watson's Animal Clinic.

"That 's a deal when you consider it," Ingram said.

"Plus it helps us."

He went on to say he believes the city has some great city ordinances in place, but that with the growth expected in the area, pro-active steps must be taken to control the animal population.