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Search is on for Animal Control Warden

Local animal advocates working with the county to improve facility.

Kendall County is seeking two new Animal Control administrators for its Yorkville facility.

Anne Vickery, chair of the county board’s Animal Control committee, said the county is advertising for a warden and will hire an assistant warden, as well. The facility relied more heavily on part-time staff after the last assistant warden left in May 2010.

The new warden will replace Christine Johnson, after acknowledging she euthanized the wrong dog in the wake of a child being bitten at the facility.

Vickery said the facility had been “running lean and mean” for months as revenues – largely rabies tag and other fees – decreased and shelter animals increased. But county leaders plan to hire a professional to lead the program and to pay him or her accordingly.

“Throwing a bunch of money at something has never solved anything,” Vickery said. “But hiring people who will work with us to make this a better run, more professional place is what we’re hoping to do.”

County leaders have since the July 3 attack was publicized. The facility no longer accepts court-ordered community service workers and volunteers under the age of 18. Leaders also converted one of two rooms that housed cats into an adoption area for the public to interact with animals.

Four part-time workers have staffed the facility since Johnson left, with County Administrator Jeff Wilkins overseeing them.

Johnson, who began working for the county in October 2002, saw her annual pay increase from $32,311 in 2007 to $37,068 this year, according to information Patch received through a Freedom of Information Act request. The assistant warden, who was hired in February 2002, made $28,591 when she left in May 2010.

In recent years, part-time kennel aides have been paid between $8.25 and $11.22 an hour.

The full warden job posting is available on the county website. Applications are due Aug. 26.

Meanwhile, a group of five owners and employees of Oswego and Yorkville pet-care businesses met with county officials, including Vickery, Tuesday to discuss improvements at the facility.

Katherine Manola, owner of in downtown Oswego, said she is optimistic Animal Control will see improvements in the coming months. To that end, the group will host a training class for Animal Control volunteers from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at Nurture Your Pets in Yorkville with Angela Murray of Nurture Your Pets and Mare Potts of FlyDogs. A cleanup of the facility is set for the following day. 

Beth Krane August 11, 2011 at 11:49 AM
Wonderful news! Thank you to all who are stepping up to save the animals and keep this program running. I especially want to praise all those that are involved, professionally, in the care of animals (whether it is government or personal venture). Animals deserve a good life too.
Judi Haft August 11, 2011 at 03:08 PM
We could really use the help folks! If you'd like to volunteer and are 18 years of age or older, come on out to the training with Mare Potts of Flydogs Training and Angela of Nurture Your Pets on Saturday, August 20th 12:30 to 3pm. Even if you're not 100% sure, come on out to the training and see what it's all about. Also, help us get the word out on dogs available for adoption from KCAC (and other organizations). Riggs was pulled this morning by Angels on Wheels and is available for adoption through them. E-mail sspratl@gmail.com if you're interested in a beautiful black lab mix. He's 3 years old, knows sit, down and off and is friendly and great with other dogs. He weighs 57 lbs, so he's not too big either.
Tammy Reyn August 11, 2011 at 03:16 PM
The animals will be in good hands with Katherine and Angela involved. These are two of the most dedicated women I've had the pleasure to meet. I can't wait to see what great changes they have instore for the shelter. Thanks to all involved that are caring for our furry little friends.
Lora Bendik August 11, 2011 at 03:57 PM
I couldn't be pleased enough to see the comments associated with this cause turn to productive answers! So much gratitude to those who are proactive and are offering real solutions as opposed to lip service!! Thank You!!

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