Chatham County Sheriff’s Office to Annex Animal Services
Chatham County officials have announced that Chatham County Animal Services will be joining the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office on June 1, 2019. Animal Services was previously a division of the Public Health Department.
County officials said that the transition should be totally invisible to the public, with no expected interruption in service and no changes in Animal Services staff and contact information.
|Chatham County Sheriff’s Office Deputies Chris Kibler (left) and Olivia Sturdivant comfort newborn goats in Pittsboro, NC.|
“This is a logical step which builds on the strong, continued working relationship between the Sheriff’s Office and the Health Department. It provides more opportunities to further enhance the safety and health of the Chatham community,” said County Manager Dan LaMontagne.
Sheriff Mike Roberson said, “We anticipate a smooth transition and look forward to growing the community outreach side of Animal Services. We are excited to partner with Animal Services Director Kimberly Harman, who will continue in her role as part of our leadership team at the Sheriff’s Office as we work with her staff to move forward with this new vision. A top-notch Animal Services Unit will be a natural fit alongside our Community Service Unit.”
Additional positive impacts of the union, according to the Sheriff, include increased contact with the community, improved education and awareness campaigns, enhanced focus on prevention and volunteer efforts, and evaluation of ways to improve after-hours response for animal service needs.
Health Director Layton Long echoed Sheriff Roberson’s enthusiasm for the change. “Our past partnerships have yielded positive outcomes for county residents. For example, we collaborated with the Sheriff’s Office to establish the Sheriff’s Prevention Partnership on Controlled Substances to combat opioid addiction. We also joined forces to place life-saving Narcan in the hands of deputies and conduct testing of County Detention Center inmates to diagnose and treat sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and hepatitis.”
County Manager LaMontagne said that the timing also was right. “We are about to build a greatly enhanced animal shelter, located near the Detention Center operated by the Sheriff’s Office, and we have a new budget year starting July 1.”
The Chatham County Board of Health received a proposal by Health Director Long and Sheriff Roberson at its May 20, 2019 meeting and voted unanimously for the change.
Board of Health Chair Carol Reitz-Barlow stated, “Our board carefully considered the proposal to transfer the Animal Services Division to the Sheriff’s Office and decided this change offered many positive opportunities. The board is confident that the two agencies will continue working together to support the public’s health and safety.”
Animal Services Director Harman said, “When you combine resources with another agency that shares the same overall mission, the possibilities are endless. Proactive solutions are our goal. We look forward to helping owners solve animal issues through education, community services, and successful adoption and placement of animals into safe, loving homes.”