Interim animal shelter director promises change - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Interim animal shelter director promises change

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Interim director of the Colbert County Animal Shelter, Richie Michael, is promising change for the shelter. Interim director of the Colbert County Animal Shelter, Richie Michael, is promising change for the shelter.

The interim director of the Colbert County Animal Shelter is promising change.

Richie Michael said he cant change the past and the way daily operations were ran at the shelter, but said he committed to making a change and is asking the community for a fresh start.

"I am now put in a position to where I can make these changes, where I can address these issues. So yes, I am asking for a clean slate, I'm asking for forgiveness from the community. We, as an organization, made a mistake," said Michael.

Michael wants to assure the community he's making the necessary changes to help better the animals and the shelter as a whole. 

During his first day in the position, Michael said is already enforcing policies that were set up but never followed through.

"We're changing our intake policy. We're putting pictures on our intake forms and medical forms that will go with that animal," he said.

Recently, a pet owner who's dog was euthanized after 24 hours in the shelter spoke out as well as two volunteers who voiced concern over conditions inside the shelter. Michael wouldn't talk about those cases specifically but admitted there have been several cases where policies were not followed as they should have.


"I can't tell you a specific time a specific animal to tell you that's never happened more than once. I'm not going to tell you that and that's the reason the polices are in place to reassure that never happens again. Things that they have complained about in the past I feel like it's time to put them in place," said Michael.

Before any animal leaves a shelter via a rescue or euthanasia, Michael will have to approve it after it gets signatures by two others inside the shelter.

Michael has a meeting set up with the animal shelter's board later this week. He said during that time he'll address his plans for the future and ways to make the shelter more of a safe haven for animals.

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