NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville's Metro Animal Care and Control has been forced to cut back its services to the public. As Nashville has grown, so has their calls, but their taxpayer funding has remained the same.
If residents see a stray animal running around their neighborhood, officers are no longer able to pick up those animals unless the animal is a public safety risk. However, if you trap the stray on your own, an animal control officer will pick them up.
Kimberly Kollwitz said, "I feel like that’s animal control’s main job?"
As of now, Metro Animal Care and Control doesn't have the money or resources to respond according to Hugh Atkins, the Director of the Environmental Health Bureau at the Metro Public Health Department.
"We obviously are going to prioritize towards human health, and we want to address animal health when we have the resources to do that, then we’ll do that on a case by case basis. Animal welfare, animal cruelty, things of that nature," Atkins said.
MACC requested 6 additional employees, and a budget increase for animal control, but that was shot down by city officials. Animal lovers aren't happy about it.
"It sounds like they’re not giving the resources for folks to take care of animals in the community even when they’re lost," Kollwitz said.
For now, employees will keep their jobs.
"We had borrowed some positions from other-where in the department, and some part time positions that we established to help close the gap," Atkins said.
As they do more with less, animal control is preparing for the restructuring.
"Things like barking dog complaints, we will send letters to owners rather than make initial visits," Atkins said.
If you find a stray, you can still bring them to Metro Animal Care and Control on Harding Place. The shelter relies heavily on hundreds of volunteers and fosters who help out at the shelter.