Group Vying To Get Contract For Bradley Animal Center To Rally Saturday

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A rally by a group seeking to get the contract from the Bradley County Commission for a new county animal center is holding a rally on Saturday.

The rally for the SPCA will be at noon on Saturday on the Greenway at Raider Drive. In conjunction with the rally, Cleveland for a No Kill City will be holding an adoption event with animals from Cleveland Animal Control. The adoption event will be from 9 a.

m. to 3 p.m. There will be puppies, kittens, dogs and cats who are looking for forever homes. Many of the animals at the event will be facing a death sentence if they are not adopted/rescued on Saturday, it was stated. 

The SPCA has extended a special invitation to Bradley County commissioners to attend the rally. 

SPCA Public Information Officer Beth Foster said all of those involved in animal welfare work in Bradley County "are grateful to the commissioners for considering alternatives to the catch-and-kill system that has been in place for so long."

She said, “Just the consideration of alternatives is a progressive move by our county commission. We are hoping this event gives the commissioners, the ones who will ultimately decide the fates of thousands of homeless cats and dogs, the opportunity to meet us, see our work, hear the stories about what we’ve done and hope to do, and meet the animals,” she said. “We also hope to use this event to inform commissioners of our greatest concern; and that is that if the contract is awarded to the wrong organization, it could end the amazing work that has been done by Cleveland for a No Kill City since June 2012.” 

SPCA Board President Betti Gravelle said that if the work of Cleveland for a No Kill City is ended, the bodies of thousands of dogs and cats would once again pile up in the landfill without the companion animals ever having had a chance to have been adopted. 

She said, "Cleveland for a No Kill City, now incorporated as a 501(c)4, began as a grassroots activist organization that drove down the kill rate at Cleveland Animal Control from as high as 80 percent to less than five percent. Cleveland for a No Kill City used direct action and the creation of an alternative system to bring about those changes." 

Ark of Cleveland, a local faith-based organization, has also submitted a proposal to provide animal sheltering/animal control for Bradley County. This proposal is based upon an alliance between the Ark and Cleveland Animal Control. 

“What we fear most is that the county will give the contract to the Ark/Cleveland Animal Control,” Jessica Tharpe, president of Cleveland for a No Kill City said. “We think this is a tactic to remove Cleveland for a No Kill City from the process and place the responsibility in the hands of a private organization that would operate under the same culture that existed at Cleveland Animal Control before Cleveland for a No Kill City brought about change. Cleveland for a No Kill City was able to be part of the process because Cleveland Animal Control was a public facility. This would no longer be true under the Ark/Cleveland Animal Control contract alliance.

“If this happened, this would return us to the dark days before June 2012. Those were the days when animals entered the city impounding system and were never seen, never given a chance, never loved and never mourned. They were killed in mass without the public ever knowing they existed.  

“The Ark hasn’t pledged to operate the county animal shelter as a no kill facility, they haven’t pledged to transparency in their operations, neither have they said they would be willing to work with Cleveland for a No Kill City to get animals to safety. To us this is an unacceptable option. That’s why Cleveland for a No Kill City supports the SPCA of Bradley County and asks the commissioners to vote Life Not Landfill.” 

Ms. Tharpe said the SPCA of Bradley County "was formed out of a coalition of local animal welfare organization to look at alternative systems of animal control/animal sheltering after Bradley County did not renew its long-term contract with the city of Cleveland to provide these services in July."

She said organizations involved in the creation of the SPCA include Cleveland for a No Kill City, the East Tennessee No Kill Coalition, Dixie Day Spay, Dixie Pet Underground and B-I-T-E-S (the Bradley Initiative to End Suffering). A board of directors was formed and the group has incorporated as non-profit animal welfare organization. The SPCA has filed for 501(c)3 tax-exempt status.

 At the end of last month, the SPCA of Bradley County submitted its full proposal to the Bradley County Commission, asking for a one-time donation from the county for $40,000 to renovate county-owned property on Johnson Boulevard as an animal shelter, plus an additional $80,000 annual donation for operating expenses. Ms. Tharpe said proposals for the same services from both the city of Cleveland and Ark "are three to four times this amount. The SPCA of Bradley County would use private fundraising, programs and grant opportunities to keep the county’s contribution at a minimum." 

The board of directors is currently made up of Ms. Gravelle, director and founder of Dixie Day Spay; Sherry Brown, a Cleveland businesswoman and philanthropist; Dr. Michael Guedron, a veterinarian with experience in private practice, as a medical officer for the USDA, and in shelter medicine; Josh Serum, a long-time Cleveland rescuer and one of the founding organizers of Cleveland for a No Kill City; and Amanda Morgan, a long-time Bradley County rescuer and secretary to the board of directors for Cleveland for a No Kill City. Ms. Tharpe is serving as a liaison from Cleveland for a No Kill City to the SPCA and Ms. Foster is public information officer. Jack Cooper, "who led East Ridge Animal Services to the distinction of being the first municipal no kill shelter in Tennessee," is acting as a consultant to the SPCA in setting up its operations and facility.

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ABERCROMBIE, KIMBERLY M  4114 10TH AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 41 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County FUGITIVE (CATOOSA COUNTY GA) --- ANDERSON, BRIAN CHRISTOPHER  299 BRELAND STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37415  Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: East Ridge ... (click for more)

City Council To Consider Policy That Job Applicants Would Not Have To Reveal Criminal Records

The City Council on Tuesday night will consider a policy that city job applicants would not have to reveal their criminal past. Councilman Yusuf Hakeem cited problems those with felony records have in securing employment. The policy would go into effect by the first of the year. The resolution says: WHEREAS, the City of Chattanooga (the "City") is committed ... (click for more)

Lung Cancer, The Deadliest Cancer In The United States

This time of year, I remember to give thanks for my faith, my family and friends and my health. Recently, I learned that lung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer in the United States; in fact, more Americans die each year from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. One in 13 men and one in 16 women will develop the disease in their lifetime. It’s important to learn about ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Can’t ‘Ban The Box’

I know a man who has over 20 former convicts from federal prisons who either work for him or who have retired with their dignity, pride, and self-worth restored. Better yet, I know some of them, men who have done “hard time” in prisons so wretched none of us would dare to go. So on the surface I applaud City Councilman Yusef Hakeem for seeing ways to get formerly incarcerated men ... (click for more)

Halftime: UTC 31 Fordham 0

Using a smothering defense and a precision-like offense, UTC scored on all four of its first half possessions, plus an interception for a score, to lead 31-0 at halftime. The Mocs defense has kept the Rams off the scoreboard with drive stopping plays  - an interception for a touchdown and one stop on fourth down at the Mocs 27..  In the second most productive ... (click for more)

Alcoa Ends Notre Dame's Season With 42-2 Setback

ALCOA -- It's hard to get past the cold hard facts. Notre Dame's Fighting Irish football team had another outstanding season, but it ended the same way as last year with a semifinal loss to the Alcoa Tornadoes. It wasn't as close as last year's 28-19 defeat as Alcoa gave up a safety in its first possession before scoring 42 straight points, winning for the 10th straight week ... (click for more)