At the Tuesday July 24 Botetourt Board of Supervisors meeting several people came to support the use of Angels of Assisi in lieu of the Regional Pound/SPCA. Norman Mason acted as spokesman for the group said Fincastle Supervisor Jack Leffel.
According to Leffel, Mason was critical of the recent alleged actions at the Regional Pound and also of the SPCA. We have a previous story about the 40 Botetourt Cats removed from the Regional Pound ten days ago. He asked the Board to consider bringing their strays, pick- ups and other animal control issue animals to AOA.
On Thursday July 26, Bill Watson the director of both the Regional Pound and the SPCA announced he resigning from the positions at both facilities effective July 31.
According to Blue Ridge Supervisor Billy Martin, he spoke up after supervisors Steven Clinton and Terry Austin made remarks following Mason about the intent of the board to have the matter looked into by county staff. “I had planned to bring the matter up under, “Other Items, but then the man from Angels spoke, so I made my remarks,” said Martin.
Botetourt County pays $158,00 per year to the pound as its share of the expenses as well as add on healthcare screenings.
Increasingly Botetourt Animal control has been taking Botetourt Animals to Angles of Assisi. In June, Lisa O’Neill of AOA had asked the Supervisors to look into what she called “tracing the flow of money.”
Currently there is an on going investigation into to the practices and finances of the regional pound and the SPCA by the Roanoke City Auditor and the office of Roanoke City Commonwealth’s Attorney Donald Caldwell.
Martin said he broke down Virginia Department of Agriculture statistics about the pound particularly the kill rates of cats and also of dogs. While the pound does transfer out to agencies like the SPCA and Angels, the propensity of the animals brought to the facility are euthanized.
Martin raised the question to the Botetourt View, “Exactly what are we paying for with $158,000?”
County administration and the county attorney are supposed to come back to the board in the next two months and report back their findings, said Leffel.