For the first time, the City of Abbeville now has an animal control officer and they’re in the process of building kennels to house lost dogs.
“The city of Abbeville has always struggled with the resources to handle Animal Control,” Abbeville Mayor Ryan Blalock.
In the past if there was a complaint about a dog, “We would just dispatch whoever at that time whether it be the water department or police department, someone to take care of the problem and usually what we would do is when we picked up a stray we’d take it to the county pound,” says Blalock.
But now the city’s grounds and beautification director is playing a second role as the city’s Animal Control Officer and six new kennels are about three weeks away from being completely built.
“It’ll be a great asset especially on the weekends when the county pound is closed and all, if we have a problem with a stray animal or something like that in town we can come up here and put him in here and he’ll be well taken care of and everything,” says Animal Control Officer Dennis Creel.
They’ll hold the animals for about 5 days while they try to locate their owner before turning them over to the county pound.
Although the City of Abbeville was able to get these kennels built for only about $500 there will be an ongoing cost for things like food and water. That’s why they’ll be charging a fee.
“$5 a day and that is for watering, maintaining, feeding the animal, taking care of the animal,” says Blalock.
They will also require proof of vaccination and reimbursement for any vet costs incurred before an owner can take their pooch home.
“I’m very excited, this is a long time coming, long time coming,” says Creel, “If someone has come home and they’ve lost their dog and instead of just running to the county pound and everything check with us first and we’re going to send out email blasts with pictures and everything of the animals and the location they were picked up in and all so we’re really looking forward to getting it up and running,” says Creel.
Organizers are also planning on posting photos of lost dogs on their website and sending them out in email blasts to help find their owners faster.
“I think it’s a great program and it’s an opportunity for an animal that’s just gotten out or gotten lost, maybe gotten hit by a car or something where it just needs some minor care and of course gives us 3 or 4 days to find the owner of that dog before it goes to the county pound,” says Blalock.