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Director: Shelter operating efficiently after resolution

The Unicoi County Animal Shelter has been clicking on all cylinders ever since the budget situation was resolved last year.
Back in December, the Town of Erwin, Town of Unicoi and Unicoi County reached a resolution that would secure funding for the Unicoi County Animal Shelter for years to come. The new budget resolution meant that the Town of Erwin would contract Unicoi County to conduct all of its animal control operations.
The new budget has placed the Unicoi County Animal Shelter in an excellent position.
“We’re super appreciative of everyone who has helped us through this process,” said Unicoi County Animal Shelter Director Jessica Blevins-Rogers. “We’ve been able to be much more efficient and we have been able to resume work on some of our renovations.”
The budget resolution meant that the Town of Erwin would no longer have an animal control officer under contract. However, the shelter was able to hire two new county animal control officers. The new officers work through Unicoi County, which means they have no jurisdiction in regards to the areas for which they provide services whereas before, the animal control officers appointed by the Town of Erwin were restricted to only serving the Town of Erwin. The Town of Erwin also donated its animal control truck to the shelter.
The two new county animal control officers have given the shelter much more flexibility.
“It’s good for residents across the entire county,” said Blevins-Rogers. “We now have these two new officers that can work across the entire county and it makes things much easier. Residents of Erwin can also always expect the same services as before.”
The two new officers are Eric Rogers and Rick Stahl. Stahl has over 10 years of experience in animal control operations in Florida and has also worked in law enforcement. Rogers has worked at the Washington County Animal Shelter. He also has extensive volunteer experience in animal control.

For the remainder of this story please see the January 22, 2014 edition of The Erwin Record.