ECSO prepares to open animal shelter

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2023

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Workers continue to make repairs and update the facilities that are now under the care of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office serving as the county’s animal shelter.
On Monday, Escambia County Sheriff Heath Jackson said the facility is close to opening to the public and is already housing several dogs.
“We are taking in dogs on a case-by-case basis already,” Jackson said. “We still have some work to do before we open to the public, but we are almost there.”
Jackson said there are a couple of walls in the facility located on South Boulevard that need some work for animal separation.
“We will be working with some students from the trade school (Escambia Career Readiness Center) to take care of those walls,” Jackson said. “The ceiling was falling in the lobby. That needs to be completed and as soon as we get that work done, we can open to the public.”
Jackson said new fencing has been put into place to allow the dogs to get outside and get some fresh air regularly.
“We’ve even put down some rocks around the fence to keep them from digging out,” Jackson said. “This will allow the dogs some time for being outside – which they need.”
The work on the facility began when the Sheriff’s Office was handed the reigns in December.
Escambia County Commissioners, Sheriff Heath Jackson and Brewton City officials came to an agreement in mid-December to join forces to improve animal welfare in the county. After meetings negotiating the partnership and strategy, officials agreed to work together on the problem that impacts not only unwanted pets but also the health and welfare of people in the community.
Among the improvements made at the facility is the replacement of the roof for the entire building.
In previous comments from county and city officials, the work to be done was extensive and will be handled as quickly as possible to better serve the citizens of Escambia County and the city of Brewton.
“The law requires that the county provide an animal shelter,” said Escambia County Commission Chairman Raymond Wiggins, “and working with the city we plan to meet and exceed public expectation. It’s an issue of public health, and we are glad to have a partner in the effort.”
Also in a previous statement, Brewton Mayor Yank Lovelace said the transition is one that will help the animal control
“The city has been working toward improving the building and facility for months with this goal in mind,” Lovelace said. “By working with the Escambia County Commission, we can continue to see improvement in the shelter’s operation going forward. I am glad to have the county and Sheriff Jackson as partners in this as we share the same goals. I look forward to their leadership.”
Sheriff Jackson said he will supervise the shelter’s operations and work with the other partners to make it the best it can be.
“We always do our best work when we cooperate with each other, and this will be an effort we all can be proud of,” Jackson said.
Workers were busy on Monday cleaning and making improvements including painting at the facility The shelter is currently housing 17 animals and will increase their intake and other activities in the weeks ahead.

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