New director brings upgrades for Animal Control department

Pickens County’s new director of Animal Control Robert Kelley and his staff show off their new uniforms.

COUNTY — Pickens County has recently hired Robert Kelley as its new director of Animal Control. With this new leadership, many positive procedural changes are being implemented.

Animal Control is now fully staffed. Officers are training at the National Animal Control and Humane Officer Academy to obtain their certifications in Animal Control and Cruelty Investigations. This will provide the skills and knowledge needed to keep the officers, animals and citizens safe. In addition, officers have been issued new professional uniforms so they are easy to identify.

Many repairs and upgrades to the Animal Control facility have greatly affected the level of efficiency in the day to day operations. Officers have repainted the inside and outside of the building animals are housed in. Water hose reels have been installed inside the facility to make cleaning kennels easier on a daily basis. The bottoms of the chain link kennel doors have now been replaced with aluminum plates. To improve air quality, three nozzles of fresh zone have been installed in the room where the animals are held.

Animal Control is adjacent to the Pickens County Prison. Due to the location, inmates are now feeding and watering the animals seven days a week. The Animal Control team is working closely with A.D.O.P.T. to place unclaimed animals in new homes. The euthanasia of animals has decreased almost 55 percent, and the rescue and return rate has increased by 56 percent. All dogs are posted on the county website, as well as county social media pages.

Kelley and his team are working hard to change the negative perspective of Animal Control. They will continue to make the changes and improvements needed to make all animals and the community safe.