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Clayton’s forgotten Animal Control board revived

Clayton County commissioners are reconstituting the county’s Animal Control Board because the body’s entire membership was allowed to expire last year without the appointment of replacements.

Clayton County commissioners are reconstituting the county’s Animal Control Board because the body’s entire membership was allowed to expire last year without the appointment of replacements.

— Clayton County will have to get an entirely new Animal Control Board housebroken this month.

Maj. Kenneth Green said animal control boards exist to hear appeals whenever a pet owner challenges the Animal Control Department’s decision to declare his or her pet a dangerous animal. State law grants these boards the sole authority to hear those appeals, he explained.

Well, it turns out someone may have forgotten about Clayton County’s Animal Control Board because an appeal hadn’t been filed in awhile.

As a result, the county Commission didn’t re-appoint the board or name any successors when the previous board’s terms expired last year.

“We hadn’t had an appeal in over a year but we recently had someone file an appeal of one of our decisions,” said Green, who is the police department’s legal advisor. “So, the animal control officer called and said, ‘Hey, we need to schedule a hearing for an appeal’ and that’s when we found out everybody’s terms had expired and the board was inactive.”

What is not entirely clear if whether the county’s elected officials forgot the board existed or simply when the terms of board members expired.

Either way, the Commission had to vote to “reconstitute” the board Tuesday as a result of the county’s predicament.

Appointments of new members to the five-person board could come as soon as the next Commission meeting, Chairman Jeff Turner told his colleagues earlier this week.

“I would prefer us do board appointments next week,” Turner said.