Bradley County names 2 to SPCA board

Bradley County names 2 to SPCA board

January 23rd, 2014 by Paul Leach in Local Regional News

Bradley County Commissioner Mark Hall

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

Bradley County Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones

Photo by Paul Leach/Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Bradley County Commissioners Charlotte Peak-Jones and Mark Hall have been appointed to the board of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Bradley County, a group that will assume animal control services for the county this spring.

County commissioners voted 10-0 this week to approve the director appointments, which were made by commission Chairman Louie Alford.

"I've been involved with this process from the beginning and want to see it through," said Peak-Jones, who was chairwoman of an ad hoc committee that sought a private sector solution to Bradley County's animal control needs. "I want to see that the county's animals are taken care of."

The county's relationship with the SPCA of Bradley County "will be a litmus test" of what can be achieved with other agencies, said Hall, who also served on the ad hoc committee.

Both commissioners volunteered for the appointments and have been welcomed by the SPCA, Alford said recently.

"There are a lot of decisions to be made in the next few months that will directly impact conditions for animals in Bradley County," said Betti Gravelle, president of the SPCA of Bradley County, in a released statement. "We know that these county commissioners bring experience and knowledge to the board that will be vital to our success."

The Bradley County Commission voted 11-3 in December to approve a two-year agreement with SPCA of Bradley County to provide humane rescue and sheltering of animals for $80,000 per year.

The agreement allows the group to renovate old county judicial facilities on Johnson Boulevard and repurpose them as a new animal shelter. Bradley County will reimburse up to $40,000 of renovation costs incurred by the animal welfare organization.

Renovation work is expected to start soon, said Beth Foster, media director for the SPCA of Bradley County.

The county's relationship with the SPCA will launch a new era of animal control for the county, which long has contracted for animal control services with the Cleveland Animal Shelter.

The contractual relationship between Bradley County and the Cleveland shelter came to a standstill this summer when the Bradley County Commission and the Cleveland City Council failed to agree on the county's portion of the shelter's proposed 2013-14 budget, which exceeded $600,000.

The Cleveland Animal Shelter now is providing animal control services to county residents who live outside city limits through a temporary agreement with Bradley County. It is scheduled to expire in March.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Contact him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.