Bessemer contracts with BJC Animal Control to run city shelter - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Bessemer contracts with BJC Animal Control to run city shelter

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Bessemer Animal Control. Source: WBRC video Bessemer Animal Control. Source: WBRC video
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BESSEMER, AL (WBRC) -

The city of Bessemer has signed a contract with the Birmingham Jefferson County Animal Control to better manage their own shelter.

Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley doesn't hold back in describing the problems the city's animal shelter has seen.

"We really had some issues and challenges down there and they have been progressively getting worse over the years," Gulley explains. "The people were not treating the animals inhumanely. Just the conditions of the shelter were not as humane as we'd like it to."

After contemplating the issue, city leaders decided it was time for a change and asked the Birmingham Jefferson County Animal Control (BJCAC) take over the job.

"Right now we donate $350,000 to the shelter. In contracting with the BJC, we can do it for a whole lot less," Gulley said.

The BJCAC has a veterinarian on staff and can oversee euthanasia procedures if needed. Close to 20 municipalities currently use the BJCAC's services. By joining those ranks, Gulley says Bessemer will save nearly $350,000 a year.

Gulley explains that the Bessemer shelter will remain open. Residents can call if they need an animal picked up and the current shelter staff will then transport them to BJCAC.

"We're still going to be out there responding. As a matter of fact, we're going to be more responsive because of these duty changes," Gulley says. "So it's a win-win for everyone. We somehow get out of the shelter business but we take care of the animals a whole lot more with this contract."

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