A proposed rule clarification by the Georgia Department of Agriculture has caused an uproar among rescue advocates and a petition to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.
Mark Murrah, from the Georgia Department of Agriculture, issued a statement on October 5. “Unauthorized individuals are obtaining animals from our licensed animal shelters, a problem all of our inspectors seem to be experiencing,” he noted. Thus, he offered a clarification: only the president, director or board members of animal rescues would be allowed to pull dogs and cats from state shelters, forbidding volunteers or transporters from participating in this process.
This clarification proved strongly disagreeable to rescue advocates. Kelly Shackelford started a petition online, “Stop The Oncoming Slaughter in GA,” and made the argument that this clarification “creates an undue burden on rescues across this state.”
Shackelford further expressed concern that the leadership of rescues are preoccupied with day to day administration, and that the inability to turn to volunteer labor to run pulls would severely curtail the capacity to save animals in need.
Within 18 hours of posting the petition, Shackelford reached 14,000 signatures, and is fast closing in on the 15,000 target.
Today, The Department of Agriculture began making calls to AC informing them it is “business as usual but subject to change,” meaning transporters can once again transport with the proper procedures. As Shackelford says in her petition: “Let’s rejoice in our short-term victory but push for a written change to the policy to reflect that or else we could be having this fight again in the near future.”
You can be sure that we’ll follow this story as it progresses.