Columbia County commission discusses animal control as sheriff’s office won’t accept additional responsibilities

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 10:47 PM EST
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LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) - The responsibility for who will be in charge of animal control in Columbia County has changed hands again.

River Dana was at the commissioner meeting and said she tried to call for animal control for a dog.

“It was Sunday morning at 5am and there was a sick wounded dog walking on one of the busier streets here and I have no faith that somebody’s going to be up.”

She said that the dog was killed after being hit by a car.

The discussion started after Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter sent commissioners a letter saying he will no longer accept the responsibilities. Attached was a check for nearly $43,000 which was the initial funding for it.

“In certain neighborhoods, there are horrible feral cat situations and even in the neighborhood we were talking about today there’s a feral chicken problem. More wild chickens than there are feral cats,” said Dana.

Other speakers echoed her message saying the humane society won’t answer their calls and nothing is being done.

“Two dogs in the neighborhood came into my yard and attacked my dog. We’ve called the sheriff’s department no response, we’ve called animal control no response, we called the humane society they said we didn’t even call.”

Commissioners discussed the issue to figure out what to do with animal control.

“I kind of wish that we could do animal control with county employees so that we have control so we have control of that aspect. I want them to have a dress code there are things we want them to do that make them professional,” said commissioner Robby Hollingsworth.

In a unanimous vote, they went with that plan and they extended their contract with the humane society for at least a year.

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