|Loudon may help Blount's animal problem
By Joel Davis
of The Daily Times Staff
Blount County could end up
hiring an animal control officer and contracting with
Loudon County Animal Shelter to house stray or unwanted
animals through the end of June.
Meanwhile, the Animal Control Committee is officially
asking for community proposals from nonprofit groups
willing to finance and run an animal shelter.
Steven Phipps of the Blount County Human Society made
the proposal at the Blount County Animal Control
Committee on Tuesday.
Phipps had researched the idea and presented his
findings to the committee.
"There are not a lot of options for short-term, but
there is one I stumbled across that could be a
short-term solution," he said.
Blount County Mayor Jerry Cunningham said Loudon
County Mayor Doyle Arp is willing to agree but will
discuss the matter with him.
"He indicated that, in a spirit of reciprocity, they
would have us down there for the rest of the fiscal
year," Cunningham said.
As the committee considered the proposal, it heard a
dramatic appeal from a county resident whose sister had
been bitten by an aggressive dog on New Year's Day.
Warren Sullivan had hard words about the previous County
Commission for not funding animal control in the county.
"Thank God, they're not in office now," he said. "Every
one of them should have been fired for putting the
public into danger. You don't not fund a safety program
because of money."
Committee Chairman Steve Samples told Sullivan, and his
sister Carrie, that the new commission was working hard
as possible to fix the situation.
"I certainly am sorry that your sister was attacked by a
dog," "I wouldn't want that to happen to anybody.
Carrie Sullivan said she felt let down by Blount
County's public safety officials.
"When the Sheriff's Office tells me that the solution is
walking on a different street — that's not acceptable,"
The committee will present any agreements for approval
from the full County Commission at its meeting next
Under the proposal, Blount County would enter a
five-month contract with the Loudon County Shelter to
house the animals at a cost of about $25 per animal per
Estimated costs to Blount County for five months would
be about $18,750 to house the animals, $14,583 for pay
an animal control officer's salary for five months and
about $16,000 for a vehicle and fuel.
Blount County would only be able to offer the most basic
animal control services during this time.
The county's contract with the city of Maryville for
animal control services expired at the end of 2006.
The Animal Control Committee has requested proposals
from community organizations interested in funding and
running a new animal shelter. Proposals are due Feb. 16.
A group of local citizens are in the process of
incorporating a nonprofit organization to create a
Rick Yeager of the Blount County Animal Rescue Effort is
one of these individuals.
"It's going to be at least a year-and-a-half to get
something in place," he said, adding that he hopes the
county can extend the contract with Loudon County longer
than five months.
The county has been looking for animal control options
since commissioners made the decision not to fully fund
the amount requested by the city of Maryville in the
The commission's Animal Control Committee is developing
criteria that community organizations would have to meet
in order to provide an acceptable level of animal
There have been other public safety incidents involving
On Tuesday, two Rottweilers attacked a Shetland sheepdog
owned by Robert Graves, who lives on North Wingate Way.
According to reports, the dog required surgery for
injuries suffered in the attack. A deputy later had to
fire his weapon when charged by the dogs, but no animals
Last modified: January 11. 2007 2:13AM