Animal Shelter Board hears Director’s report, addresses other topics

Published 7:39 pm Monday, April 26, 2021

The Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter Board recently met in their regularly scheduled April meeting.

One of the very first things the board did was to accept board member Kim Birchfield stepping down to spend more time on his Sheriff’s campaign along with other issues and to accept the City Council’s recommendation of Mayor Curt Alexander to fill Birchfield’s post.

The vote was unanimous for Alexander to come on the board.

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In old business, Board Chairman Michael Barnett shared with the board that issues with the animal shelter is being addressed as he reached out to Joey with Reedy and Sykes in regard to the ongoing issues surrounding a grinder pump and a water leak under the dog runs.

Barnett advised the board that the consensus is to replace the pump with a displacement pump. Barnett said that currently a cost to replace the pump and other work required is being investigated to see what the cost may be.

However, if there were any good news, it was that the grinder pump can be placed in storage and used later down the road should the need arise as it is a newer pump.

Also in old business, the board discussed the job description for the Animal Shelter Director with board member Robert Acuff and Michael Simerly pointing out some wording that needed to be revised in regard to some of the expectations to legally protect the director as a template was used from the Washington County Animal Shelter and some of the things didn’t apply to the Elizabethton position.

During the Director’s report, Shelter Director Shannon Posada advised the board that there had been 75 cat intakes and 66 dog intakes for the month of March which gave the shelter 141 total intakes.

On the adoption side, there were 38 cat adoptions and 49 dog adoptions.

Posada also advised that the dog catcher position is going very well as in March there were 24 call-outs. This was a low number due to getting the position up and running according to Posada.

The dog catcher, Darren Lacey, is getting called out at all times of the day and night as late as 1 am and is still currently able to make it to work on time the next morning.

With that being said, Posada stated she felt like it was time to fill the open position at the animal shelter left vacant when Lacey took the position.

The director also advised the board that she had two more employees quit due to the amount of current pay and there not being an increase in quite some time.

“Any employer needs to know the job that their employees do and reward them,” Posada said. “Our staff works really, really hard and should see some movement in pay.”

Posada said that she has put a request in for an increase in the new budget of about five percent. When asked if the $1,000 that other departments are adding to their staff pay over the year would be satisfactory, Posada said she felt it would equal out to about the same so whatever the board would approve would work for her to take to budget.

When talking about the “Elephant in the room” referring to the ongoing 501c3 issue surrounding the Animal Shelter Board, each seemed to share the same opinion that there is more information needed in moving forward with such a move.

Mayor Curt Alexander shared some of his frustration on the issue when he stated that the 501c3 was a dead issue until both parties get together and discuss what has to be done referring to the County Commission and the City Council.

“We have waited for months to have a discussion about this partnership,” Alexander said. “We are back to doing what we used to do and that is not working together.”

The Friends of the Elizabethton-Carter County Animal Shelter will be hosting a Kitten shower and adoption event at the shelter on Saturday, May 1, from noon to three.

This event includes reduced adoption fees on all animals; information on becoming a foster; demonstrations on bottle-feeding kittens; refreshments and an hourly gift card drawing for those who donate food and/or supplies.

Donations of food and supplies for our kitten population are appreciated. Donations will be accepted at the shelter (135 Sycamore Shoals Drive) and also at Petsense in Elizabethton throughout the month of May.

Also, on May 15th, there will be an adopt-a-thon at Petsense from 9 am to 5 pm.

Posada advised that it is kitten season and the shelter has taken in several different litters of kittens and are looking forward to getting them into a loving home.