Covington, Ga. - The Newton County Board of commissioners voted Jan. 21 to change the name of the county's animal control department from Newton County Animal Control to Newton County Animal Services.
The department's Director Cindy Wiemann told commissioners the new name is more reflective of the services being offered these days by animal control departments around the country.
"For the last, probably, 15-20 years, it's been a growing trend across the nation to change from animal control to animal services, which truly reflects more on what animal control does," she said, "We're no longer the dog catchers. Right now, we've really been promoting adoptions, transfers to rescues. Last year, our euthanasia rate dropped to 30 percent, which is a drastic change over where it was two years ago.
"We're promoting spay and neutering programs, so the change to animal services truly reflects what we're trying to achieve for Newton County. Additionally, with the shelter renovation and addition, I just felt it would be a really good time to update and project what animal control does in a more positive way."
District 2 Commissioner Demond Mason said he supports the change.
"This is one of the things that I asked for last year - to move from control to services," he said, "because I think that it does bring more positive reinforcement to our community to let them know that we're not here just to euthanize. We are here to provide service to our community."
Commissioners approved the change 5-0.