It is becoming increasingly clear, that Douglas County Animal Control and its new animal services director have moved into an adversarial posture against a large segment of the volunteer community, the rescue community and other concerned supporters of the Douglas County Animal Shelter. Citizens, volunteers and others, who have been actively engaged in supporting the efforts to move Douglas County and the Douglas County Animal Shelter toward a modern and progressive facility, are now being pushed aside and told directly and indirectly that they are no longer welcome at the Douglas County Animal Shelter. Cooperation that has been present between the community and shelter staff has been withdrawn and information critical to the success of adoption and rescue of shelter animals is purposely being denied. Meanwhile, two critical shelter staff have resigned in the past week and the responsibilities of volunteer coordination have been turned over to a private organization now being headed by the animal services director's wife.
In addition, the animal services director is now directing all citizens inquiring with him directly about his policies and their impact upon the welfare of Douglas County shelter animals, county employees and Douglas County citizens, to contact the Douglas County Animal Control Advisory Board. However, there remains no means for anyone to contact ACAB board members, aside from the one board member who has been willing to publish his contact information.
When citizens have contacted county representatives in the past week requesting contact information for ACAB board members, the Douglas County Communications Director and the Douglas County Clerk have obfuscated their responses to the public and attempted to obscure their responsibility to the people to provide that information, by citing non applicable sections of Georgia law to deny citizens information they are rightfully entitled to obtain. Citizen inquiries have then been directed back to the animal services director by the County Clerk and Communications Director. The same county representative who refuses to speak with the public or answer their questions if they involve the policy changes that he has implemented at DCAC since beginning his tenure.
There have been no requests made of the Douglas County Communications Director or the Douglas County Clerk, for ACAB members personal information, which is protected by law. What has been requested is that a means be provided to citizens to contact these representatives of the public by the citizens seeking information and to address their concerns. Douglas County should either provide ACAB members with a county email contact, or the respective ACAB members should establish a separate contact email for the purposes of conducting their duties and responsibilities as ACAB board members and as representatives of the citizens of Douglas County.
For the record, as a member of the Douglas County Animal Control Advisory Board, I have created and published my email contact information so that all concerned citizens and others can contact me directly with their concerns. My contact email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
All complaints, concerns and comments concerning Douglas County Animal Control related issues will be responded to individually and all citizen concerns will be forwarded and conveyed directly to the Douglas County Animal Control Advisory Board and to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.
Carl Pyrdum Jr.