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Hardin Co. Residents Want Animal Control

By Emily Cassulo
By ecassulo@wbbjtv.com

HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. - Residents in Hardin County are calling on their county leaders to get them an animal control department and a shelter.

They said they are having problems with strays, and have nowhere to turn to get these animals help.

According to Mayor Kevin Davis, the last time they had a place for the animals to go was about eight years ago.

Resident Vicki Alsup said it was a close call for a neighborhood dog, Cherokee, about two weeks ago. She found her in a driveway culvert, and she could not get out.

"I didn't know what else to do," Alsup said. "I just knew she had to come out of there because I didn't want her to die. I was afraid something might happen to her."

Alsup said she was worried the dog may have been seriously hurt. The culvert is only about a foot wide.

She contacted Savannah Animal Control, but they told her they could not help since she lived out in the county.

She also called the Humane Society, but could not reach anyone. Then she tried the sheriff's department.

"They did send an officer out to the area, and he got out and looked, but evidently he didn't shine a light up in the ditch 'cause she was still in there," Alsup said.

She said fortunately her husband and Cherokee's owner ended up digging her out, but she is still concerned the county does not have animal control or a shelter.

Mayor Davis said the county cannot do anything if they get a call about strays. They can only spay and neuter dogs, and that is only one dog per resident per year.

"I'm glad that we do have a shelter in the city and that it's there to help people, but I'm worried about us in the county. When we need help, where do we go, and what do we do?"

Mayor Davis said they are in talks with the city to possibly combine resources, and share the city's new shelter.

For now though, most of the time the sheriff's department can only respond if the animal bites or threatens someone.

Residents believe that is not enough.

"I think animals have feelings too, and they're a gift to us by the good Lord, and it's our responsibility to take care of them, to treat them right," said resident Charles Franks.

Mayor Davis said they hope to make a decision on a future animal control department and shelter by the fall.
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