This week, Skip Youmans, an environmental health specialist with the Bryan County Animal Control, answers the questions:
Q: How long have you been involved with Bryan County Animal Control?
A: I have been a rabies control officer since 1996 and involved in Bryan County Animal Control management since 2000.
Q: How have you seen this facility and program evolve in recent years?
A: The Richmond Hill facility was upgraded in 2002, and the Pembroke shelter will be replaced later this year. Both shelters are climate-controlled. We have evolved into a more professional program from what was once just "dog catchers."
Q: What does the community need to know about misconceptions associated with animal control? How is Bryan County different from other areas?
A: We do not pick up animals and immediately euthanize. We work hard to find forever homes for our animals. We often hear that you should not take animals to Animal Control because they will just put them down. That is not the case. The Bryan County administration supports our program and allows flexibility for us to assist the animals. Without the support of the county and the community, we would not be able to accomplish our goals to assist the animals. I would love to give "shout outs" of appreciation for the people in the community that assist, but there is not enough room on this page to include everyone. We honestly try to do what is best for the animals. I really cannot compare our programs to others; all I can say is I am proud of ours.
Q: What have been the greatest challenges for animal control in Bryan County?
A: The greatest challenge was and is educating the community about what we do and building trust in our program.
Q: What role does Beth Murray play and how has she been an asset to the county?
A: Beth Murray is a hard worker dedicated to making our program better. She has taken on the role of donation coordinator, she serves as our adoption specialist, and she promotes the program through social media. She takes pride in our program. Officer Tommy Sanders, Officer Tommy Foster and office assistant Darlene Shuman are also vital to the program. The animal control program of Bryan County is successful because of the combined efforts of our entire team.