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My Two Cents: Animal Control still overwhelmed

My Two-Cents with Hank BonecutterClarksville, TN – The most recent news concerning the Montgomery County Animal Control Department is still sad.  Nothing seems to have changed since the termination of previous director, Karen Josephson.  This department continues to be a “no-win” situation for everybody, and animals die everyday because of it.

Montgomery County Animal Shelter is still overrun with unwanted animals.
Montgomery County Animal Shelter is still overrun with unwanted animals.

Who’s fault?   Well, there’s plenty of blame to go around, if that’s what you’re looking for.

First, it begins with you and me.

We have GOT to spay and neuter our pets.  So many pet owners do not do this simple procedure to cut down on the animal population in our community.  It’s a given that if you don’t spay and neuter, your pet will continue to reproduce and put more unwanted animals on the streets, and in the shelter, and ultimately on the euthanasia table.  If you can afford to own a pet, you can afford to have this procedure done.  If you can’t, then don’t get a pet.

Second, breeders who greedily continue to reproduce their animals to make a profit.  This flood of animals just adds to the problem.

The Montgomery County Animal Control Department is overwhelmed.

If I had to guess, I would assume that the morale in that department is terrible.  I applaud the workers in that department for doing the best job they can, but considering the circumstances of their environment, it’s understandable why they don’t look forward to going to work every day.  If I had to guess, I would say that dealing with the “human” factor is the worst part of the job.  I know they love the animals, but dealing with the public?  Well…. you know.

It’s really not fair to fling criticism at director Tim Clifton, because he was thrust into a bad situation from the beginning, but this was an opportunity for Tim to improve his professional situation. This was a total 180 degree shift in his career, and what he had been trained for up to this time.  But in his defense, it was an opportunity for him to advance his career, and we would all jump at the opportunity to do just that. I really believe that Clifton wants to do the best job he can, but his hands are tied financially, and the facility continues to be overrun with animals.

Tim Clifton is a good person, with a solid reputation, but he’s in a very difficult and emotional situation, and he’s still learning.


These people are the one “blessing” that any shelter can have, but our facility has a long history of some volunteers who take it upon themselves to assume they are responsible for how the department should be run.  A handful of these volunteers have been more of a problem than a solution.  One in particular continues to brag about her ability to “get her fired,” referring to former director Josephson.  Volunteers should be welcomed with open arms, but they should also understand their role, and just let the department do what they’re supposed to do.

There’s also never been a real concerted effort to bring the numerous animal agencies in our community “together” to help find a solution to this problem.  We don’t have all of the veterinarians, volunteers, humane society, friends of the shelter, etc., on the same sheet of music. I have previously referred to this as “turf wars” and as expected, I’ve been attacked from all fronts for that opinion.

Then there’s the politicians.

Now while it’s easy to criticize political figures, because, well, it’s what we do, they only have so much time and money to address every single situation facing their community.  I’m just as guilty as you are, so when all else fails, blame a politician.  Let’s face it, most elected officials bring controversy with them, but not all.  Most of the time that criticism is warranted, but not always.

In this case, it’s warranted, because we’ve had this “cancer” in our community for way too long.   It’s time to make a difference.


I have to believe that people are doing the best they can, with what they have to work with, but I feel that to make a difference, some MAJOR action has to take place.  Don’t you find it ironic that all of us who have so much “love” for animals, seem to have so much “hate” for the people trying to help?

Like I said, ultimately, it’s you and me who make a difference.  People MUST spay and neuter.  If you can’t afford to have your pet spayed or neutered, then don’t get one.

My heart breaks every time I see pictures of dogs and cats posted for adoption, because I know they only have a few days to be adopted before they’re “put down.”  It hurts a lot.  I want to take them all and rescue them from their fate.

I just wish we humans weren’t such a problem.

Just my two cents.

Hank Bonecutter
Hank Bonecutterhttp://www.clarksvillesmotorcycle.com/
Hank Bonecutter is a retired broadcaster and media consultant based in Clarksville, Tennessee. His career includes stints at WKDA/WKDF and WKQB Rock 106FM, WLAC-AM in Nashville. He concluded his career as owner/talk show host at WJZM-AM in Clarksville. Currently the President of Bonehead Promotions, he's an advertising consultant and media strategist. An avid motorcyclist, Hank blogs about his travels exclusively at www.clarksvillemotorcycle.com and www.clarksvilleonline.com You can follow Hank on on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dodgintheroadkill/, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/?lang=en, and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dodgetheroadkill/?hl=en  

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