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Former volunteer wants change at shelter

By The Staff

I’m really tired of hearing how the animal shelter is overcrowded with unwanted animals and how they’re going to enforce dog licenses this year for revenue and to help find lost animals (Channel 9 and Kentucky Post Web site).

I have always got my dogs licensed so they can be found and because it’s the law. I wonder how many elected officials have bought their dog licenses? I’m not just talking this year, but in year’s past? Enforcement should begin at the top.

I’m unaware if Vanessa Rose (who serves as the county’s community service worker) had prior shelter experience before she was sent to the shelter by the judge to get the Friends of the Shelter in check. Those women are important to Darrell Link’s political career so I don’t think that’s why she was sent there. He doesn’t want to make them mad.

In my opinion, she was sent to the shelter to run me, who worked there as a volunteer, and another employee out. We took over when the criminal activity was leaked to the public last year. Those conditions might have continued if they hadn’t been made public.

We cleaned up the shelter, organized the paperwork and turned in to the fiscal court a lot of money from adoptions and fundraisers, none of which was done in the past. I never felt that we received support from the courthouse.

We went to the Boone County Animal Shelter to learn how things are done. Now a lot of the things we were asking for but were denied have been implemented, including increasing the adoption fees and purchasing a new computer, printer, etc.

I never saw the judge during the 10 months I volunteered there. We needed more help, but didn’t get any. After we left, I was told, the judge dropped off an unwanted dog named Football. I consider that contributing to the unwanted animal population in the county.

We were told that I couldn’t be hired as a part- time employee, and the part -time employee couldn’t be hired as a full-time employee, because of budget constraints. Then a few weeks later, the budget came out with money for an extra employee.

After we left, because we didn’t want to deal with the drama anymore, Vanessa’s son was temporarily hired for the part-time position. He later quit. I wanted to fill out an application for the part time position, but was told the shelter wouldn’t be taking applications until July. I was not allowed to fill out an application because “of the way I quit,” so I wasn’t considered for the job. I never quit. I was a volunteer and still planned to help out with things, but I got the feeling I wasn’t wanted, so I stopped going there.

It seems nepotism and favoritism are alive and well in Grant County. It’s all about who you know. That’s been proven over and over when trying to enforce county ordinances.

A teacher let a collar become embedded deep into a dog’s neck, but the animal control officer was told not to charge him because of who he was. Brent Caldwell (who served as the animal control officer until he transferred back to the road department) tried several times to charge people with animal cruelty, but was denied. It seems the county doesn’t want to spend the money or time and do what’s right or what’s the law.

The shelter has also turned away taxpayers that needed to drop off animals, because they were told there was no room. Could that be because of mismanagement? Telling people that shooting cats would control an overpopulation problem is not what shelter workers should be telling the public.

The shelter is closed sometimes for no reason, like in past years. The inmates were brought back to clean. They aren’t doing it properly and they are causing problems again.

Caldwell was doing the groundwork at the shelter. Shouldn’t the inmates be doing that? They’re always riding around on Gators doing a little bit of nothing.

This sounds like the shelter is going back to its problematic past.

I really don’t get how this county is run. I know if these kind of things are going on at the shelter, then they’re probably happening in other departments.

I think everyone should get out in November and vote if they want change for the better.

Kim Baldwin

Dry Ridge