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UPDATE: Winnsboro Aldermen Amend Animal Ordinance

The Winnsboro Board of Aldermen voted 5-1 Monday night to approve a new animal ordinance.
UPDATE 10:40 p.m. -- Winnsboro animal control was the only issue left in the air after an outburst ended last Thursday's board of aldermen special meeting with Alderman John Dumas led out in handcuffs.

No such drama on Monday night's regular meeting.
    
Dumas was back and the aldermen got right to animal control.
    
The animal shelter volunteers, called the "Winnsboro Dog Pound," asked the aldermen why, for the first time in two years, they claim they'd been locked out of the shelter after hours.

"I don't understand why access was suddenly denied. I was shocked and not informed," asked Kim Kimbrough, the founder of the "Winnsboro Dog Pound."

But the aldermen never answered that quesiton.

"We need to just start from scratch here tonight, make amends and let's do what we have to do for the dogs in the community," Dumas told Kimbrough.

The Winnsboro mayor said at the meeting he's caught between two sides on the issue of dog euthanization.

"There's a side of people who would like to save dogs and there's a side of people who would like to get the dogs off the street that are a danger and a nuisance to their children," Mayor Jackie Johnson said.

Indeed, some community members spoke out against it.

"We go outside, are we safe? Going outside at night with all the kids walking around? I'm just worried about education. Who cares about a dog?" one man said.

But the aldermen voted to amend the ordinance for holding dogs.

Where before dogs would be held for five days before euthanization....

"During that time right there, Ms. Kimbrough and her organization, they can come out to identify the dogs. They cannot touch them. After the five days is up, there will be a 30-day. They will move to what we call a 'temporary shelter,'" said Alderman Rex McCarthy.

After the five days, the aldermen said their 28-pen shelter will then be designated as that "temporary shelter" and the volunteers will be allowed to work with the dogs to get them adopted by the end of the 30 days before euthanization.

But the volunteers said those amendments are unclear and they don't offer any adoption programs.

The volunteers claim the city has taken dogs for euthanization without notifying them before and only time will tell if ordinance will be honored.

"We've found more than one time that what we're promised in these nice little sit-down, air conditioned meetings and what happens when we get out there in reality have been two different things, so we'll see," Kimbrough said.

The aldermen also said an additional six pens for the shelter will be built in the future with the potential of six more after that.

The volunteers asked if the hours of the shelter could be extended so that they can come back to work at the shelter after hours.
The aldermen said a second animal control officer could be hired in the future to help open up the shelter to the volunteers after hours.

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WINNSBORO -- The Winnsboro Board of Aldermen voted 5-1 Monday night to approve a new animal ordinance.

Before, the Winnsboro Animal Shelter would hold dogs five days before they would be taken for euthanization.

Under the new Ordinance 963, the dogs will still be kept in the 28-pen shelter for five days, but will then be moved to a new 12-pen temporary shelter currently under construction for an additional 30 days.

The volunteer group at the shelter, the "Winnsboro Dog Pound," was at the meeting to ask aldermenwhy they had been locked out of after hours sessions with the dogs and confined to the shelter's hours of 12-2 p.m.

The aldermen didn't give them a straight answer but said a second animal control officer would be hired to open the shelter to them after hours again.

This comes after the volunteers said the aldermen were taking dogs for euthanization without informing them.

Aninal control was on the agenda of a special meeting last Thursday, but that meeting ended in chaos after District 2 Alderman John Dumas was escorted out in handcuffs after arguing with the mayor.

We'll have a full report tonight on KTVE 10 News at 10.
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