Animal Welfare Task Force Hears The People - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Animal Welfare Task Force Hears The People

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DOVER, Del.- The Animal Welfare Task Force, appointed by the Delaware Senate back in June, held a hearing Thursday to give the public a chance to speak out about the current status of the animal welfare system in the First State.

The 22-member task force is looking into issues such as what authority is given to animal control officers and the standard for animal care.  People believe right now there is a lot of confusion with the current status quo of the system.

Member of the task force and Kent County SPCA Executive Director Kevin Usilton said there is a lot going on that does not help the end result.

"Delaware has a population, which is just like an urban city but yet we have many hands and many phone numbers and many rescue organizations which are sort of muddying the water for human residents to try and find out where to turn for service," Usilton said.

Erin Whaley, a Lewes veterinarian, said everyone needs to get on the same page for the sake of the animals.

"I think everybody has generalized concerns about the rescue organizations and their care of the animals in those environments and their policies as far as the medical care of those animals," Whaley said. "The focus should always be on welfare that we're trying to do the best that we can for the animals' welfare."

The task force's responsibility is to find a way to coordinate the state and county responsibilities for animal control. The group is also attempting to come up with a broader review of the state's animal cruelty laws and issues.

After the public hearing there will be three more meetings of the task force of which the public is invited to attend. There will also be another public hearing. After all comments, written and verbal, are taken into consideration a recommendation is expected be sent to Gov. Jack Markell by April 2013.

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