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Animal Control Announces New Leadership and Enhanced Animal Care

The Sangamon County Animal Control and Adoption Center will undergo several changes following a 6-month evaluation and review. After sensational allegations of criminal animal abuse and neglect at animal control arose on social media late last year, the County called for a top to bottom review of the facility. While state agencies and investigators found the facility provides industry standard and above adequate care, several policies were announced to further enhance services.

New leadership for the facility was announced at tonight's Public Health Committee meeting. According to Director Gail O'Neill, Jeanne Keenan, a 22-year employee of Sangamon County, "has remarkable organizational and motivational talents" and was named the Interim Director of Operations for SCAC&AC. O'Neill continued, "She has a passion and love for animals and people."

After months of recruitment during the ongoing national employee shortage, the County has fully staffed the animal control kennel and hired an additional animal care manager with over 20 years of experience working in a veterinarian clinic. With a full staff, officials say they will be able to provide more care and enrichment to the animals.

County officials also approved a $50,000 Animal Emergency Care Fund to be used at the discretion of veterinarian advisors for necessary procedures and surgeries. This fund allows for the betterment of life for many animals that desperately need care when arriving at the facility.

"The new policies and procedures in effect and the operational changes will enhance the service we provide at animal control," said O'Neill, "Community members should be assured that we do our best to deliver quality services and are always willing to review and adjust policies."

The complete letter from Director Gail O'Neill to County Board Members can be found here.

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