The Floyd County Commission approved on Tuesday a new management team at PAWS, the public animal welfare services facility at 99 North Ave.
“I think it’s going to be a real good fit. We’re at a 96% live-release rate and they’re going to push us to the next level,” said County Manager Jamie McCord.
Jeff Mitchell, who’s been with PAWS since 2014, was named animal control manager, retroactive to Monday. Tammy Jo Hallman, currently with the nonprofit Best Friends Atlanta rescue organization, will come on as animal welfare manager April 22.
For now, they’ll both report to John Blalock, the Floyd County 911 director who’s also overseeing the animal shelter operations.
Mitchell is a former corrections officer slated to complete his bachelor of criminal justice studies this fall. He’ll be in charge of the inmate laborers, enforcement, collections, processing and maintenance.
“He and Matt (Cordle) and John are totally responsible for our success at PAWS,” McCord said.
Hallman will handle the animal wellness side, along with the adoptions, rescue group coordination and public outreach. McCord said her experience also includes working in the city of Nashville’s animal control facility.
Commissioner Allison Watters, a longtime animal advocate, said Best Friends is a highly regarded national organization. Its motto is “Save Them All.”
“It’s like two different operations in PAWS,” she pointed out. The two managers “have got to work together, but their skill sets are separate.”
Blalock said he’s not expecting a major overhaul, but the new managers will be building on the momentum that started when the shelter opened in December 2016.
The board also presented a proclamation recognizing this week as National Animal Control Officers Appreciation Week.
“It’s one of the most difficult jobs. It’s hard to please everyone ... but I’ve seen a lot of changes in recent years and our live release rate is almost unheard of in the state of Georgia.”
Also on Tuesday, the board honored the Victim Witness Assistance Program in the Floyd County District Attorney’s Office with a proclamation naming this week National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Director Sandy Fenton said they helped 157 victims get over $123,000 from the state compensation fund last year.
Commissioners also recognized Blalock and his 911 Center team for Public Safety Telecommunications Week, which runs April 15-21.