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Guest column: The importance of our animals
Richard Marz web 1
Dr. Richard Marz

I love animals.

Mine bring me great joy and increased quality of life. I haven’t always felt this strongly – but I’ve matured and better realize the unquantifiable value of a loving life that is a pet and becomes a family member. 

I also understand how in 3-4 seconds after injection of the death drug, they slump and cease to live – losing the life and personality within. What a wretched waste when done unnecessarily.

You may or may not see the value of an animal’s life as I do, but if you are in the animal business, it is your occupation and profession. The current status of our Bulloch County animal shelter system is in alarming disarray, and doesn’t reflect the obligation for constant improvement it has to the profession, its consumers or its taxpaying supporters.

Last year 1,188 animals were reportedly killed at our facility. No, they were not euthanized. They were killed – read the definition of euthanasia. The 2016 animal control and animal shelter budget is about $8,000 per week ($430,000/year) of taxpayer money. Our facility has tremendous potential to be a clean, happy and friendly place.

One in which volunteers would value the opportunity to assist these voiceless animals, be their advocate, and show them love and compassion and aid their adoptability! Imagine all the necessary shelter tasks being completed without significant stress to the staff and additionally doing much more than just what is “required” by the Dept. of Agriculture.

Imagine the animals being clean and stink-free living temporarily in a relatively loving facility and being adopted in a condition that any responsible business would necessitate for its clientele. Imagine any animal adopted being spayed/neutered prior to adoption. Imagine having clean water when they need it instead of when someone gets around to providing it (or not).

Imagine properly licensed rescue groups being allowed to choose any animals that they can find good homes for while allowing this service to shift the cost of care from the taxpayer to private philanthropy! It’s a win for the animals and a win for the taxpayer! This is why the excuse of “we can’t afford this in our community” isn’t valid.

While I understand this will take time and necessitate changes that will provide challenges, I also understand that our only constant is change. We must cease the “it’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality. We should eventually be able to save 90 percent or more of the animals.

Complacency must be replaced by attention to detail, transparency and accountability – just like any responsible business demands.  

Where are all the dollars going? We must know where the medicines/drugs and all other necessities come from and where they go. We must keep up with donations and work hours by having a verifiable log. We must save animals by becoming a new age marketing system using the Internet with volunteer powered photography and videography. Fostering, off site adoption events and public access hours for working people needs to be the norm! It isn’t so hard; it merely takes responsible, caring people to make substantial improvements and create much needed accountability.

If this is important to you, please contact your county commissioner (912) 764-6245, the public safety director 489-1661 and county manager 764-6249.

Let them know that we are fed up with a facility that unnecessarily kills puppies, kittens, as well as mature animals, out of convenience.

We desperately need a shelter board of directors to oversee and advise in all aspects of shelter progress. We also need our Bulloch County Commissioners and public safety director to willingly accept responsibility for shelter operation and the image our shelter portrays to those within the community as well as to those that may choose to bring their business here. Please do this for the animals and your community!

Also understand that we must continue until we make momentous change in this shameful department. It is my heartfelt commitment to assist in the transformation of our broken animal shelter system to bring it from the era of the 1960s to the current age where vast improvement is vital.

I bring with me an enormous group of animal lovers not content to find all the reasons and excuses why we can’t do this in our community. We are the voice and tax money of mandatory improvement.


Richard F. Marz, D.D.S.


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