The city of Gadsden is taking steps to address concerns about unhoused and uncontrolled animals in the city.
To do this, an animal concern task force has been created and will work closely with city council to find solutions.
Gina Hollingsworth is an animal advocate in the community and is one of many serving on the task force.
She says, "[The City of Gadsden] is really in a community health crisis with the over population of animals in Gadsden. The homeless and strays, the numbers were just beyond anything that we had ever seen before.”
Animal rescue organizations within the city noticed a rise in animal attacks earlier this year.
“Animals have been attacked by other animals. People walking their dogs have been attacked. We had a recent incident where a child was attacked,” explained Hollingsworth.
After days of assessment, it was found that the humane society in the city was completely full. Leaving them unable to house any more stray animals.
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The unkept animals that could not be served are now roaming the streets.
Newly elected Mayor Craig Ford says the task force's first objective is to solve that issue.
“We had a major issue because the humane society at the time would not accept any animals. They had closed because they were full," said Mayor Ford, "We have to have a humane society so we’re trying to look at all our options and there’s multiple options. We can contract out of the county. We can redefine our contract with the city."
Hollingsworth says the fix will not come over night, but her and the rest of the animal concern task force are ready to do the work.
"This is a problem that has taken years to develop and it’s going to take a long time. We are not going to be able to fix this over night. It’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of people involved to get this under control,” said Hollingsworth.
The Mayor plans to have a solution finalized for the over flow at the humane society ready to present to the council in the first 60 days of his term.