Cleveland animal shelter debate continues - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cleveland animal shelter debate continues

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Bradley County, TN (WRCB) -- A crowded Cleveland animal shelter has another delivery on the way.

Doris Graham is dropping off a Dachshund after it wandered to her yard Tuesday, but a contract dispute with Bradley County could soon put a stop to it.

"What am I going to do with them. Am I just supposed to shoot it? I don't think so," says Graham

Her frustrations stem from a vote by the Cleveland City council to cut ties with Bradley County in animal control.

In a new proposal, the county would pay for any animals dropped to the shelter from its limits, but they would no longer use their vehicles for pick up service.

Bradley County Mayor Gary Davis says he wants to work with the city, but doesn't want to pass growing fees on to taxpayers

The county already pays close to $200,000 a year in animal control.

Davis says, "We have to cut costs somewhere and we choose to cut off the pick up outside the city."

That measure was voted down and councilman George Poe says the animal shelter feud is just one of several issues between both governments.

"We have offered and offered to work with the county but they have no intentions to cooperate with us," Poe says.

Cleveland mayor, Tom Rowland says about 60 percent of the animals brought in come from Bradley County.

The city is responsible for the animals care which can get as high as $700 per animal.

He says the numbers just don't add up.

Rowland says, "It is just an unfortunate situation that we all can not work together and everyone pay their share."

If nothing is done before July 1st some fear the stray animal issue will only get worse.

"I'll have even more dogs and cats and god knows what else they will set out there," Graham says.

If no agreement if reached by July 1st the shelter will only accept animals from the city.

Down the line, county residents will be charged a fee to drop off animals.

Two animal control officers will be transferred to other departments.

Both sides have two weeks to reach and agreement and are "hopeful" something will work out.

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