Bay County Hires New Animal Services Manager

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PANAMA CITY -- Bay County Animal Control personnel have been working on a long-term project to improve services at the animal shelter. They've finalized more than 20 policy changes and facility improvements. The county also has a new manager to oversee the new improved department.

It's a makeover for the county's animal services building.

"We can improve the animal health and we're working very hard to improve our live release rate and increase our adoption rate," Bay County General Services Director Jamie Jones said.

That's why the shelter has reduced adoption fees from $75 down to $25. The new plan, now in place, also includes a new animal services manager.

"I'm just really excited to be here, to be able to provide you know, good customer service to the citizens," Animal Services Manager Paula Hunter said.

Hunter started this week, overseeing shelter operations.

"It's one of my biggest areas that I focus on in the area of public service, you know, public safety for animal enforcement as well as the animals and citizens in need of Bay County," Hunter said.

The county has made major shelter improvements, starting with the animal in-take area. The new sign says it all. Before this addition, all animals were passing through the same area, allowing sick animals to come in contact with healthy animals.

"We'll be able to facilitate better customer service for the general public, for the animals themselves. We can improve the animal health,” Jones said.

Shelter workers believe the changes will make a big difference.

"If we all work together, we can produce so much more. So it's just a matter of coming together and creating partnerships and nurturing them and embracing them and moving forward,” Hunter said.

The facility holds more the 100 dogs and more than 100 cats, with room for some livestock as well.