Outside report recommends Leon County and Tallahassee consolidate animal control services

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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News
April 22, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- An outside assessment of the Animal Services Center has recommended that the City of Tallahassee and Leon County join forces and consolidate their animal control departments.

The study was done last year by the University of Florida's Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program and Team Shelter USA.

Although Leon County's Animal Control Division and City Animal Services are separate entities, they do collaborate on multiple issues. They also share and fund one animal shelter.

Leon County Animal Control Director Cara Aldridge said one struggle the two different departments currently face is confusion from citizens about which department to call. The county often has to redirect callers within the city limits to Tallahassee's department.

Another issue is that the two departments utilize two separate and different databases.

"Consolidation would ultimately have us working out of the same database. So, that would alleviate some work for some of us," said Aldridge. "Currently, we would enter the work into our database, and then when we bring the animal into the shelter we would have to enter it into their database."

The assessment also recommended that the county implement a Trap Neuter Vaccine Return (TNVR) Program, but county staff is not recommending that at this time.

The assessment also found that the ASC is utilizing best practices in its foster care program and the medical care provided to animals. It recommends reducing the stray hold time for dogs and improving the animal intake process.

Leon County did pursue consolidating Animal Control and Animal Shelter Operations back in 2017, but the city was not ready at that time.

The county is still open to the possibility, and a discussion is set for Tuesday night's County Commission meeting about the report as a whole.

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