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

Tuesday, November 05, 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.


Many Waldens Ridge Scenes Featured In Stokes Picture Book

A number of early views of Waldens Ridge are among the rarities found in the Stokes Photo Collection. There are many photos of the roads up the mountain showing streetcars, wagons and early autos. There are scenes at Rainbow Lake, Falling Water Falls, Signal Point and other scenic spots. Several photos are included of the Signal Mountain Hotel. The more than 700 photos ... (click for more)

Man Shot At Apartments On Tunnel Boulevard Wednesday Afternoon

Chattanooga police officers responded to the apartment buildings at 404 Tunnel Blvd. Wednesday at 1:21 p.m., where residents say they heard multiple shots fired.  Witnesses said they saw multiple suspects fleeing the scene on foot behind the complex.  The male victim was taken to a local hospital for life threatening gunshot wounds.  Chattanooga Police ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill - And Response

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Policeman’s Prayer

Every year, when the Law Enforcement Foundation of Greater Chattanooga holds its annual luncheon, it is one of the most heartening displays of what America really believes, down deep inside. The most prominent and influential leaders in the community – well over 1,000 -- gather to pay tribute and pledge their support to our heroes in blue who are unfaltering in their devotion, service ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Sweeps Loretto To Open Class A State Volleyball

(Story will be updated) MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Playing what coach Alfie Dodd called a sub-par match, Boyd-Buchanan’s Lady Bucs were still good enough to sweep Loretto, 3-0, Wednesday in the opening match of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Class A state volleyball tournament at Blackman High School. Set scores were 25-19, 25-14, 25-20. With the ... (click for more)

Red Bank Loses In State Volleyball Opener

SMYRNA, Tenn. – The TSSAA State Volleyball tournament didn’t start off like the Red Bank Lionettes would have liked. Facing the Lady Irish from Knoxville Catholic here at Stewarts Creek High School in the first match Wednesday morning, the Lionettes never got comfortable and lost in three sets, falling by scores of 25-16, 25-13 and 25-19. Red Bank got an ace from Allison Walker ... (click for more)