The Laurens County Animal Shelter and Animal/Litter Control will soon be under the direction of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office.
The Laurens County Council accepted a recommendation from Sheriff Don Reynolds to move the shelter and animal control and their six employees under the auspices of the LCSO beginning with the new fiscal year on July 1. The shelter and animal control are currently under the county’s public works department.
“Since I have taken office, we have increased arrests involving animal cruelty by 240%,” Reynolds said. “We have formed a very good working relationship with the Litter and animal control personnel. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office works very effectively with animal control to pursue violators and aid these precious animals.
“The decision was made to have animal control operate under the sheriff’s office for safety and efficiency. Animal control has done a good job under the supervision of (Public Works Director) Dale Satterfield and (Animal Control/Shelter Supervisor) Geoff Brown. We will continue together as one. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office will not tolerate animal neglect or cruelty. Period.”
Brown said in a social media post that the move to join the LCSO is a step forward in the right direction for his agency.
“On the first day I took over as supervisor of Laurens County Animal Control, I realized we were very ill equipped to do the job that we are sworn to do in every aspect of the job,” Brown wrote. “I promised our officers that day that I would work to make sure we had the training and equipment that we needed. Given our budget that is no easy task, and I could not do it alone. In a little over a year we have had a lot of changes from policy, equipment and staff. Dale Satterfield has been a great leader and trusted me from day one to make the changes needed. He was always there to answer questions and give me guidance and I cannot thank him enough. However, we are a law enforcement agency and need to operate as such and it is time for that transition.”
Brown also said Reynolds and the LCSO has made working with animal control officers on cases a priority.
Officers will receive additional training in weapons and other areas as they become deputized law enforcement officers. They will be certified as Class 3 deputies with the authority to make arrests, carry firearms and pursue their own warrants.
“We need to make this move, which his what is best for our staff, our citizens and the animals of this county,” Brown wrote in his Facebook post.