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Animal Control Funding Restored In City Budget

Kevin Meerschaert

Jacksonville's animal shelter will still be able to accept unwanted pets.

Funding for the city's Animal Care and Protective Services was restored during a budget hearing Thursday.

Under Mayor Alvin Brown's proposed budget, animal drop-offs at the city's shelter would have been eliminated. The shelter would also have euthanized animals housed there after a two week stay.

Rescue organization around the city lobbied heavily members of the City Council Finance Committee to restore the program's $245,000 budget.

The committee took little time to grant the request. Council member Robin Lumb said he toured the shelter on Monday, and was impressed with the work being done there.

The Jacksonville ACPS has been recognized by animal advocacy groups across the country for its goal to become a no-kill shelter. Rick DuCharme, director of advocacy group No More Homeless Pets, says the no drop-off policy would have been a move in the opposite direction.

In October, the group Best Friends Animal Society will hold it's annual convention in Jacksonville. The Society awarded ACPS a grant of  $550,000.

DuCharme said not restoring the funding in the city's budget could have jeopardized future grants from Best Friends and other animal advocacy organizations.              

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.