GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – Nearly six months after its creation, the Alachua County Alachua County Animal Welfare Advisory Committee is finally set to meet.
The board was chartered by the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners back in May, and information has been lacking since.
The committee’s website showed no information, no members and no scheduled meetings. In fact, the link to apply for one of eight vacancies on the committee was still posted.
The reason for the delay is the board was awaiting its new director. Julie Johnson was brought in from a previous position in California to be the director of Alachua County Animal Resources.
The board has a huge task ahead of it to help care for animals in Alachua County.
Alachua County Animal Resources is currently facing a crisis. Its shelter has been overcrowded for far too long, and the numbers got so bad this summer they had to put intake on hold for months.
“We cannot stress out the shelter to the point of overloading to where we now have issues with animals that are sick and in crates and just stuffed all over,” said Johnson. “That’s not a way to humanely care for animals.”
Chelsea Bower is the Associate Director of the Humane Society of North Central Florida and a member of the board. She said financial conditions in the county have led to overpopulation.
“It’s also been very hard for a lot of people since COVID financially,” said Bower. “I think providing some resources in the community like food banks and low-cost spay/neuter and low cost vaccines and wellness will help greatly.”
The first meeting of the committee is scheduled for November 16.
Those interested in helping or adopting are encouraged to visit Alachua County Animal Resources’ website.
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