Future complaints concerning the Columbia County Animal Care and Control will be handled differently.
Columbia County commissioners agreed Tuesday to amend bylaws that will define where complaints will be directed.
The new policy was established during an October advisory board meeting for Animal Care and Control.
Policy complaints directed toward Animal Care and Control will be managed by the commission's Community and Emergency Services Committee. Emergency Services Director Pam Tucker will deal with personnel complaints.
In the past, employees with Animal Care and Control have spent too much time dealing with policy complaints, Commissioner Scott Dean said.
"That's really what it boils down to," he said. "The employees can't set policies. It's the commission's job to set policies."
Animal Care and Control has received several complaints in recent months from animal rescue groups.
Some have accused officials of mismanaging the department.
County officials have repeatedly defended the department and have accused the groups of lodging unfair attacks.
Dean said he hopes the new protocol will lessen the pressure felt by employees.
"That's a hard enough job having to deal with animals and having to put animals down when it's the results of citizens not having them spayed and neutered when they need to be," he said.
"Our employee's job is already hard enough. We need to make it easier on them."
In other action, commissioners accepted a bid of $44,000 for the addition of two 2008 Dodge Chargers for the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
The board also agreed Tuesday to transfer $4,000 from general contingency funds to the Columbia County Extension Service to rent vehicles for 4-H activities.
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