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New animal control policy places undue burden on Decatur veterinary clinics

Recently, Macon County Animal Control has proposed changes to rabies registration procedures that unnecessarily create additional work for local veterinary clinics.  Our area veterinary clinics are already understaffed and increasing the workload of veterinary clinics is unlikely to improve pet care, rabies prevention, or enhance relationships between entities that should be working together.  Under the change in policy, veterinary clinics would now be responsible for delivering paperwork and fees as opposed to Macon County Animal Control picking up the paperwork and fees at the clinic themselves, a practice that has been in place for many years.  By shifting the burden, the clinics would now be responsible for delivering payment of fees that are ultimately going to the county without compensation in time or expenses. 

Simultaneously, Macon County is asking the city of Decatur to approve changes to its animal control program that would increase the city’s obligations associated with animal control.  Specifically, the city would now be responsible for picking up large dead animals such as deer and will be responsible for handling felony animal control cases that take place in the city.  It is unclear how much less the county is proposing to charge the city given the increased obligations the city faces and the increased burden the county has placed on the city’s veterinary clinics. 

The Decatur City Council will be considering whether to approve a revised intergovernmental agreement with Macon County for animal control at its meeting on Monday, August 21.  In addition, the city council will likely approve expenditure of state and local motor fuel tax for city road projects, adopt a new program providing financial assistance to those needing emergency repairs to the sanitary sewer lateral, and approve the demolition of six properties in the OKO neighborhood as part of the urban agriculture project approved earlier this year.  The council will also likely agree to give Sifi Networks Decatur one additional year to begin installing broadband in areas of Decatur that are not being serviced by the city.  It has been two years since the city council approved an agreement with Sifi for this project.  To date, no broadband has been installed by Sifi.    


The possible approval of a revised animal control contract and other agenda items will be voted on at the next meeting of the Decatur City Council on Monday, August 21.  Meetings take place at 5:30 PM in the council chambers located on the third floor of the Decatur Civic Center (1 Gary K. Anderson Place).  Free parking is available in the lot immediately south of the entrance.  Citizens are encouraged to attend meetings and express their views.  Citizens are allotted 3 minutes per person near the beginning of each city council meeting.  In addition, citizens can provide comments regarding one regular agenda item per meeting for up to three minutes provided they notify the city in advance (and prior to the start of the meeting).  You can request to speak on a particular agenda item at a council meeting by filling out an on-line form at:


If you would like to discuss city issues with a council member, phone numbers and email addresses for each council member can be found at the following link:


An agenda and information about each agenda item for each city council meeting can be found at:

Horn for Decatur
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