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.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BLANSIT, RICHARD LYNN     2514 COUNTY RD #512 VALLEY HEAD, 35989     53     Chattanooga          DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE BROWN, JIMMY LEE     1025 HICKORY AVENUE HIXSON, 37343     70    ... (click for more)

Arnold Gets 4 Years, 3 Months In Gun Case; Crouch To Serve 8 Years, 4 Months

A man police say has been caught with a gun several times was sentenced on Monday to serve four years and three months in federal prison. Timothy Arnold, 25, appeared before Federal Judge Sandy Mattice. Prosecutor Meredith Evans said Arnold has some violence incidents in his past, including pistol whipping one individual. Myrlene Marsa of the Federal Defender's Office said ... (click for more)

ChattaData Is A Real Advance For The City

This past Tuesday, the city of Chattanooga's new performance management tool called ChattaData was unveiled. As the chairman of the City Council’s Budget & Finance Committee, I am excited to witness the city putting this important information online in a way that is accessible and transparent to all taxpayers. This approach shines light on how we as a city prioritize our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Apollos Hester’s Way

East View High was trailing at halftime by a pair of touchdowns in last Friday night’s game against unbeaten Vandegrift. But the players at the Georgetown, Texas, school each have a sticker on the back of their helmets that says “TPW” which is a constant reminder that “Tough People Win.” Then there is “attitude” and that is where running back Apollos Hester steps in. In what ... (click for more)

Tennessee Gets Down To Final Preparations For Georgia

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.   – Tennessee’s first Southeastern Conference road trip to Georgia on Saturday (noon kickoff on the SEC Network) will be a homecoming for 17 Vols. That fact is not lost on those players, from freshmen wanting to make a first impression to those, like   A.J. Johnson , playing against the Bulldogs and in their home state for the final time. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Golf Team Second At Wolf Run Intercollegiate

The Chattanooga Mocs men’s golf team is tied for second after 18 holes at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate. The Mocs and Florida Gators each shot 295 over the opening 18 to trail Illinois by 11 at 285 at Wolf Run Golf Club. The day’s docket had a scheduled 36 holes. Afternoon storms sent teams from the course prior to finishing. The remaining holes will be completed starting at 9:30 ... (click for more)