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Todd: Kudos to Animal Control
Letter to the Editor
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Dear Editor: This past Tuesday I attended Rockdale County's Board of Commissioners' meeting to speak on behalf of Rockdale County Animal Care and Control. I wanted to recognize CiJi Baker's efforts to place dogs into forever homes or make them available to local rescue groups. On June 10, Mr. Baker and his staff took 22 dogs to Alpharetta to attend an adoption event hosted by Animal Rescue Foundation. Our county is the only animal control agency invited to this event. On this day, 21 of the 22 dogs were placed with adoptive families or with no-kill rescue organizations.

I was not the only citizen there to speak about RCACC. Ms. Carol Nailen presented a different view of the care animals are receiving from RCACC. She stated that on several occasions, that she had called to report ordinance violations and animal cruelty. She further stated that Mr. Baker was remiss in his duties as shelter director and that dogs remained in poor living conditions.

On several occasions, I have assisted RCACC as they have investigated complaints. I have personally seen animal control officers respond compassionately and work diligently in the best interest of animals. Their efforts have superseded job expectations. They work to educate the public, enforce compliance and ensure animals are treated humanely and with respect. Mr. Baker has implemented a spay/neuter program and offers this not only to those adopting from animal control, but to the pets of Rockdale County citizens.

Theirs is a thankless job. The hours are long and often they have to deal with angry owners and aggressive pets.

They must enforce a minimum set of standards. Unfortunately, often they see animals living in less than optimal conditions, but if no laws or codes are violated, there is nothing that can be done. There is not one animal control officer who wants to euthanize dogs and cats. It is not their fault they die. It is irresponsible pet owners who refuse to sterilize their pets, allow them to wander and fail to get appropriate vetting that are to blame. These are not the majority, but the impact of their behavior weighs heavily on the county.

I am proud to be associated with Rockdale County Animal Care and Control and will continue to assist them in rescue efforts. As with any agency, there will always be room for improvement. I believe Ms. Nailen's comments were vindictive in nature and her goal was not in the best interest of the animals, but rather to point fingers and place blame where it did not belong. My work will be to help Mr. Baker continue to make positive improvements to RCACC. This is not a place where animals go to die, but are given one last chance to live. Do your part: adopt, spay/neuter and be a responsible pet owner.

Lori Todd
of Mutts & More, Inc.