DOBSON —Just days after the Board of Commissioners voted to table proposed changes to the county’s animal control ordinance, representatives from area animal welfare groups are set to sit down with animal control officials in an effort to work out their differences.
The meeting is set to get under way at 4 p.m., Thursday in room 335 at the Surry County Government Center in Dobson.
The sit-down was scheduled after a Long Island, N.Y., rescue group proposed to come to Surry County to pick up unwanted animals and transport them north for adoption.
North Shore Animal League Rescue contacted local animal welfare advocates after being alerted to the high kill rates in the county’s shelter when contacted by officials with the Millan Foundation, founded by “Dog Whisperer” Caesar Millan.
“They’ve offered to work with animal welfare groups in Surry County, and pull animals from our shelter,” said Jane Taylor, a spokesman for Mayberry4Paws. “If this actually happens, they will come and get the animals and provide them transportation up north.”
The service would come at no cost to the county, although local animal advocates would be responsible for paying about $35 for rabies shots and a certification from a veterinarian that the animals are fit for adoption.
Taylor said that after years of a dysfunctional relationship with shelter officials regarding the high kill rates, she hopes Thursday’s meeting will herald the start of a new chapter between animal advocates and shelter officials.
“I’m thrilled with the opportunity to have community animal advocates meet with representatives from the animal control department,” she said. “Ultimately, we share many common goals. Now that we are collaborating, we can reach those goals more quickly. Collaboration and outreach will save the lives of many healthy and adoptable pets.”
A spokesman for the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center, which oversees shelter operations in the county, echoed Taylor shortly after the meeting was announced.
“We always look forward to the opportunity to address concerns with the public who are seeking to offer positive things for the well-being of animals in the county,” said Thomas Williams. “We’re looking forward to sitting down and talking with them, and hope for a positive outcome.”
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.