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County seeks new Animal Control director

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Position at first to be advertised internally

By Marty Finley

The search for Gerald Foley’s replacement as animal control director could commence as early as next week.

Hardin Fiscal Court approved an updated job description for the position Tuesday and should advertise it internally no later than next week, Judge-Executive Harry Berry said.

The county wanted to tweak the position’s requirements before beginning the search, Berry said. Deputy Judge-Executive Jim Roberts said holiday vacations slowed the process.

The updated description includes additional job duties, needed certifications and a salary boost. It now falls into pay grade 16 with a range roughly between $37,500 and $43,500 per year depending on years of experience, Roberts said. In the previous pay grade, an employee likely would start around $34,000.

County officials believed the salary bump was needed to attract qualified applicants for the position.

Berry said the county typically advertises vacant jobs internally first because a county employee may desire the job as a change of pace or a way to advance his or her career through a promotion. If the county finds its preferred candidate in-house, the process would be shortened because the employee could start work sooner, he said.

More often, Berry said, the position is advertised to the public and interviews are held to find the best candidate.

Roberts estimated the county could fill the position in a month to six weeks but said it is hard to nail down a target date because the number of candidates is unknown and scheduling conflicts could arise.

“That’s just a wild guess,” he said. “It’s not a target date.”

Berry said he would like to see the position filled by February or March, “certainly no later than April.”

“It looks like March is a good window that we could put someone to work,” he said.

Berry said the time frame depends on the applicant pool and what type of experienced candidates step forth.

“Sometimes it’s pretty clear cut,” he said. Other times, he added, you have to give it more thought and more time.

Foley retired in late November after nearly 30 years with the department and told The News-Enterprise he planned to take a break and spend more time with his five children.

With the vacancy, a staff member has been placed in charge of administrative duties while Roberts and former Jailer Louis Lawson, the county’s building and grounds director, serve in a dual supervisor role. Roberts said Lawson is the primary contact.

In his absence, Roberts is available if questions are raised, advice is needed or decisions must be made regarding the shelter.

The revised job description totals five pages and includes roughly a dozen essential responsibilities for the new director, such as apprehension, impoundment and humane disposal of unidentified dogs running at large or vicious or diseased dogs endangering lives or property; enforcement of state, county and city animal control ordinances, statutes and regulations; euthanization of dogs and cats as needed; feeding and care of animals at the shelter; and development of sound financial practices.

The job also entails minor duties, such as the collection of license and adoption fees.

Qualifications outlined in the job description call for a Hardin County resident with a high school diploma or equivalent education who has a minimum of five years of supervisory experience at an animal shelter housing more than 3,500 animals annually. The director also should have an advanced knowledge of animal behavior and animal caring techniques, and proven experience with licensing, adoption, vaccination and spay-neuter programs at the shelter.

The ideal candidate also would have a strong knowledge of Kentucky animal laws and experience with evidence gathering and courtroom procedures among other qualifications, according to the description.

The description also calls for a candidate with competent language and mathematical skills and reasoning ability who is at least 21 years of age with no felony convictions.

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.