Bradley County SPCA President Betti Gravelle said Monday the county shelter could not combine with the Cleveland Animal Control without more staff and funding.
During the Monday afternoon Cleveland City Council meeting, City Councilman Richard Banks discussed possibly combining the two so that more animals would be helped under the "no-kill" philosophy. He also expressed concern that city residents are being taxed for both facilities.
However, volunteers from the Bradley County SPCA shelter suggested that if this happened, they would not have enough manpower or space for all of the animals.
President Gravelle pointed out that many volunteers were already being overworked without taking over the city animal control's workload.
She said she worried volunteers would become "burned out" and quit, noting that the SPCA has only two full-time employees.
She said, "If they combined and it is no-kill, there has to be more money if there are more animals...Staffing is an issue, we would have to bring more people on staff."
She said she was open to anything, but pointed out several differences between the SPCA and animal control. She said, "The county does not pick up animals unless it is an emergency...That's a world of difference from just patrolling the streets."
Councilman George Poe said, "From everything that's been said, I would like to make a quick statement. The city taxpayers, none of them have told me they want to get rid of animal control in the city. I'm for no-kill, period...I would not vote to do away with the animal control for the people's safety here in Cleveland."
During the meeting, Councilman Banks also discussed the ongoing problem of stolen historic street signs in Cleveland.
He said, "The word needs to go out that it's a felony to steal these signs because they're being stolen faster than we can put them up."
Mayor Tom Rowland announced, "Athena Davis from Cleveland High was on the live show this morning with Kelley and Michael." He said this had brought a lot of good publicity to the community and that 30 computers were being donated to the school.
The city also received an estimate of the cost to repair a monument damaged by a driver. From a company based in Georgia, City Manager Janice Casteel said the cost would be "$3,500 for the repair and cleaning of the monument and $1,500 for delivery and installation...This is a very reasonable amount of money."