Commissioners face packed meeting over animal services issues - FOX 13 News

Commissioners face packed meeting over animal services issues

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Hillsborough County Commissioners faced a packed meeting room Wednesday as people spoke about the leadership and conditions at Hillsborough Animal Services.

It was a packed house, but a room divided by red and green.

One by one, for two minutes each, they made their case to the Hillsborough County Commission.

Those in green support the new director of Animal Services, Ian Hallett. He is in charge of a new policy that reduces the number of animals that are put down. Those in red shirts say he has created a disaster.

"In 13 months, he created the Titanic and run it right into an iceberg," said one man in a red shirt.

They said his leadership has led to overcrowded kennels and worsened conditions. Commissioner Mark Sharpe pleaded with Hallett to bring both sides together.

"You, sir, as the leader, really need to find a way to spend time with our volunteers and make them feel like they're wanted," as the room filled with clapping.

Sharpe told Hallet something needs to be done now, and Hallett agreed.

"It is just a better place to work when everybody is getting along and has good relationships and that is the kind of environment I want to create," he said.

The Commission approved some help for the director. They approved $250,000 dollars for shelter improvements and half a dozen more staff members.

Some volunteers say it is a step in the right direction.

"We need more staff to be able to be in there to keep the kennels clean, to keep the animals safe," said volunteer Alina Clark..

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