Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter reinstates animal control

Published 5:05 pm Friday, September 17, 2021

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After a brief hiatus of an animal control officer within the Carter County area, the position has finally been picked back up by the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter.

A position that was originally associated with the Carter County Sheriff’s Office, the animal control officer job was disbanded earlier in the year due to budgeting conflicts associated with the animal shelter.

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Director of the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter Shannon Posada spoke on the reason for the cut, saying, “We were defunded and were about $70,000 shorter on the budget, meaning that we either had to cut employees or we had to cut services. When we cut employees, it means we have to cut intake, which means lower adoption rates and more animals being left out in the community.

“The last thing we wanted to do is lose employees for the shelter in a time like this, so we had to make the tough decision of cutting animal control services.”

However, after things took a turn for the better, the shelter was able to reinstate the position. Posada spoke on events leading to the reinstatement, saying, “Once the City of Elizabethton and Carter County came back together and were able to give us more funding, we were able to bring back the services of animal control.”

Posada says that animal control is a one-man show for right now, meaning that the animal control officer Darren Lacy is a very busy man when it comes to receiving calls.

Expanding on this point, Posada continued by saying, “Animal control goes through 911, and once an officer is dispatched to the scene, then animal control is called. One major thing is that for calls about stray animals, that animal needs to be contained. The last thing we want to do is tie up an officer or animal control due to how busy their schedules can be.”

Lacy says that he loves his position as the animal control officer, stating, “I chose to do this position because I wanted to help the underprivileged and the unwanted dogs within the community to keep them from harm.”