CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - An Animal Control facility that's faced criticism from the community now has a new leader, and he's on a mission.
Clayton County's Animal Control Center is on Anvilblock Road in Ellenwood.
Channel 2 Action News got access inside the facility and asked the head of the program about his plan moving forward.
"We want to change the face of our animal control division," said Maj. Richard Godfrey, with Clayton County Animal Control.
After years of criticism from some in the community about the operations at the facility, the department's new leader has a message for the community.
"What I want people to understand and know (is) that we are committed. We want people to know that we are passionate about animals. I am an animal owner myself," Godfrey said.
The bottom line: It's all about the animals and getting as many dogs and cats as possible adopted and into new homes.
On Thursday, Godfrey gave Channel 2 Action News access to the facility, which opened in late 2016 and is constantly busy.
"Right now, we are pretty much at or above capacity pretty much every day," Godfrey said.
Godfrey said he and his team need the public's help.
"We need them to come in and look at all these great and wonderful animals we have and, hopefully, find them a new home," Godfrey said.
The department is also working in conjunction with local rescue groups. Godfrey said it is considering a trap and release program to help with the problem of feral cats.
“We want to capture those, spay and neuter them and release them back into their own environment and, overall, that will help control the population," Godfrey said.
He wants everyone to know that the shelter is open for business and ready to work with the community.
"We hope that this is a very welcoming facility and very open to the public as soon as they walk in the door," he said.
The department is also working to educate pet owners about the importance of spaying and neutering their animals.
There are upgrades currently underway on the Animal Control website and plans for an app to get important information to the community.
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