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APD takes over animal shelter

By By Adrienne McKenzie
The Atmore Animal Shelter has officially been handed over to the Atmore Police Department for upkeep of the facility and animals.
Both Rhonda Kelmer, former shelter director, and former employee Katherine Wheeler have resigned from their positions at the shelter for unknown reasons.
According to APD chief Jason Dean, the everyday tasks at the animal shelter have been given to his department.
"It is now the responsibility of the police department to handle animal control calls until a replacement is found," Dean said. "We are making sure the animals are fed and watered until then."
Dean is in the process of cleaning up the facility, making it look more presentable to the public and allowing it to run more smoothly when a replacement is hired.
"We are going to try to tidy up and do some maintenance," he said. "I want it clean and flushed out. I even want to steam clean the inside."
Dean is unsure of when the shelter will be back to normal because he is being cautious of who he hires to run the establishment. His department is using the time now to cleanse the area.
"I have to find the right person to do the job," he said. "I don't know when things will be up and running. We are taking advantage of this down time though."
Brewton animal control officers are helping by taking in the dogs the Atmore shelter has not adopted out yet. Brewton officers will attempt to find those animals a home in the Brewton area while the Atmore shelter is being overhauled. Unless there is an emergency, the shelter will not take in any animals, although they will answer and properly handle animal control calls.
"We are not looking to take in anything unless we absolutely have to," Dean said. "We will address any problem as soon as possible and as efficiently as possible."
Dean wants the facility to be in its finest shape and is taking this time to carry out any improvements it may need.
"We want this to be the best shelter it can be," Dean said.