For the last five years, the citizens of Columbus have stepped up to help Columbus strive to be a No-Kill community. While the city has been helpful in actions, there has been no additional financial support Many of our council members still view Columbus Animal Care and Control (CACC) as just the pound that keeps dogs off the streets and holds biting dogs. They just ignore the “Care” portion of the name.
The current vet contract covers only the very basic needs. Medications (antibiotics, pain killers) are given out sparingly. When an animal comes in injured, there is not an area to provide treatment even if money did not restrict options. The city is dependent of animal welfare organizations to act to help suffering animals. Prior vaccine policy had rabies vaccines only given after the mandatory five-day stray hold. Even then, not every animal was vaccinated.
It is time to let our representatives know that they need to bring our approach to animal care to the 21st century. Instead of being dependent on the public to do what is right, a true public/private partnership is needed. Relatively small steps taken by the city in funding the basic needs can be combined with the efforts of hundreds of individuals in our community so that more companion pets have a chance of being in loving homes.
Since January, Animal SOS has bought core vaccines for Columbus Animal Care and Control (CACC) so they could meet one of the standards in the Association of Shelter Veterinarians Shelter Standards.
Vaccination of all animals on intake just makes sense. It cuts down on disease in the shelter, easing the workload of the staff not having to deal with extra cleaning protocols due to contamination and keeping much needed kennel space from having to be quarantined, and assures adopters and rescues who step up to save these animals that they are getting healthy animals. Having all the animals receive the core vaccines also reduces the danger of sick/dangerous dogs in our community.
Animal SOS committed to buying the vaccines through June with the hopes that the city would fund this important component to sheltering animals. While money was included in the initial budget request, funds for vaccines have been removed (along with other desirable items). We understand the city is facing revenue decline, but in the big scheme of things, this is small apples (less than 0.007% of the proposed budget), Their costs for a fully vaccinated dog is only $6.11 and for cats it is under $3. Yet this small investment will provide a safer community with healthier animals.
During council meetings concerning the revisions in our animal ordinance earlier this year, Mayor Tomlinson stated: “When it comes to budget times, help these guys (council members) make the difficult decisions of funding.” So your help is urgently needed. Council is negotiating the budget and needs to understand our community desires. They need to hear from hundreds of citizens letting them know we care about our animals being properly handled. Please be respectful in all your communications, whether phone calls, emails, or letters. Some of the points that can be emphasized are:
The days of a municipality just providing a pound are in the past. Columbus takes great pride in having so many public/private partnerships. While the staff at animal control have been more than willing to go an extra mile to help Columbus’ pets, they have depended on the generosity of private citizens for basic needs since the city does not fund CACC to fully care for the pets in their possession. It is time for them to step up with dollars of their own.
Below is a list of your elected officials and their email addresses.
Pop Barnes – firstname.lastname@example.org
Glenn Davis – email@example.com
Bruce Huff – firstname.lastname@example.org
Evelyn Pugh – email@example.com
Mike Baker – firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary Allen – email@example.com
Mimi Woodson – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Buck – email@example.com
Judy Thomas – firstname.lastname@example.org
Skip Henderson – email@example.com
Mayor Tomlinson – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mailing Address: City of Columbus
P.O. Box 1340 Columbus, Georgia 31902
Time is important. Decisions will probably be made in the next 30 days. Let them know you want your tax dollars to be used to create a more humane, safer community.