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Brunswick Co. Animal Services could join Sheriff's Office

READ MORE: Brunswick Co. Animal Services could join Sheriff's Office

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Brunswick County Commissioners will vote tonight on whether to move Animal Services under the Sheriff's Office. Both agencies say they are excited about the potential change.

"We always look to cut cost where we can, but I think one of the main motivators is to hopefully improve the services of that agency," said Sheriff John Ingram. "With our resources, we are in a position to do that, where others are not."

If it happens, Animal Services would no longer be under the direction of the Board of Health, and would be renamed Sheriff's Animal Protective Services.

"It'll mean more personnel, more resources," Brunswick County Animal Services Director David Swain said. "It would be a good thing for us and the animals."

Both the Sheriff's Office and Animal Services say the merger would mean better care for all the animals. As for the humans, no one would lose their job.

"The shelter attendants and staff will be able to spend more time with the animals," Swain said. "We've got a new recreational area out here, so we try to get them out here and play with them a socialize with them, so that will help out quite a bit and make them more people-friendly."

The county manager said the merger is more about providing better care and getting more animals adopted than budget cuts. Costs would be cut by using sheriff's volunteers and inmate labor to maintain the facilities.

"It will add additional work for some, but overall, in the end, I think it will be much more beneficial for everybody in the county," Ingram said.

If the board approves the merger, changes could take place as soon as July 1. Those include cosmetic improvements to the animal services building, uniforms and vehicles.

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