Ticket Given to Gibbs Dropped by City

Newscenter 11 has an update on a story that happened in late February.

The ticket given by an animal control officer to Judy Gibbs, for allegedly interfering with the officer's duties, has been dropped by the city of Meridian.
Gibbs said that happened after she met with city officials Tuesday.

Gibbs and others had found an injured dog on North Hills Street and someone called animal control, mistaking it for animal rescue.

Gibbs was given a ticket by the animal control officer for allegedly interfering with the officer when she asked to be able to take the dog to a veterinarian.

The officer refused to turn the dog over to her. The animal was later euthanized. That, and the injured dog's treatment at the scene, upset people.

Now that ticket has been dropped. Gibbs said her efforts are focused on forming an advisory board made up of city and county residents who are animal lovers. She said she would like to help improve the local animal control.

If county supervisors vote to approve this proposal, Gibbs says the new advisory board would look into grant money, donations, help from volunteers and local vets.

Animal control's building is also in need of serious upgrades. One area resident told Newscenter 11 i she hopes the advisory board is approved.

"I don't care if we have to raise taxes," said Sandia Butler. "That'll be a really popular subject. But something needs to be done to fund people to look after these animals."

Gibbs was not available for an on-camera interview Wednesday, but sent Newscenter 11 a statement:

"It looks like a bad situation has resulted in positive changes for our local animals and our local animal shelter. Good things are in the works."

Board of supervisors president Joe Norwood said he was just made aware of the proposal at 1 p.m. Wednesday and would have more to say about it after supervisors meet Thursday.

Lauderdale County's animal control is a joint operation of the city of Meridian and Lauderdale County. Officials say they take in about 4,000 animals annually, and have an adoption rate of about thirty percent.

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