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The Athens-Clarke County Mayor and Commission approved the creation of the Animal Services Department on Oct. 1. (Photo/Jason Born)

The Athens-Clarke County Commission unanimously voted to make Animal Services its own department and added more full-time positions to the department at its Oct. 1 voting meeting.

According to an ACC news release, three new full-time positions were created by combining four part-time animal shelter caretaker positions into two full-time positions and by converting the shelter volunteer coordinator position from part-time to full-time. Compared to the nine full-time positions and 10 part-time positions in the past, the new department will include 12 full-time positions and five part-time positions.

A new Animal Services Department Director position was also created.

For the time being, Selah Gardiner will serve as Interim Department Director until the position is filled following a national search, the report said. Gardiner previously served as the volunteer coordinator and received the Georgia Volunteer Manager of the Year Award for her work with the Humane Society for Greater Savannah in 2016.

Animal Services will include both animal shelter services as well as animal control field services. These two services will be overseen by an Animal Shelter Supervisor and a Field Services Supervisor, respectively.

Michelle Carrigg will serve as the Field Services Supervisor. Carrigg previously served as Animal Control Administrator and Animal Control Supervisor. The hiring process for an Animal Shelter Supervisor position is currently underway.

Until the Oct. 1 Commission vote, the formerly named Animal Control Division operated as a division of the Central Services Department, overseen by an Animal Control Superintendent and managed by the Central Services Department Director. By moving to its own department, Animal Services will now report to the Manager’s Office for “consistent oversight,” the release said.

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