Deadline up for vet job
By Michael D. Bates | Hernando TodayBROOKSVILLE - Public Safety Director Mike Nickerson said he has glanced through the applicants who applied for the animal services manager position and likes what he sees.
Published: November 22, 2012
Published: November 22, 2012
Wednesday was the deadline for applicants. Now, the task is to whittle down the six applicants who, at press time, applied, and come up with someone who would be the best fit.
Whoever gets the job "is a key to the future operation of the department," Nickerson said.
"Absolutely we have to get a quality person."
The six candidates will be vetted by a committee of four, including Nickerson, a volunteer veterinarian, Director of Administrative Services Cheryl Marsden and the vet temporarily in charge of the department, Raul Figarola. The county administrator will sign off on the committee's recommended hire.
Nickerson said the county would negotiate a salary for the managing operator. The job was advertised at a range of $65,748 and $85,871 annually.
Whoever is hired will be responsible for managing employees and volunteers and practicing veterinary medicine and surgery at the facility.
The new manager will also have to promote animal-related public safety and humane treatment of shelter animals, "maximizing live outcomes and minimizing euthanasia wherever possible."
The candidate must be a doctor of veterinary medicine from an accredited college or university and have a minimum two years experiencing as a practicing veterinarian.
Local vet Figarola has been managing Hernando County Animal Services for the last several weeks and was praised by Nickerson for attempting to restore harmony at the embattled department.
Nickerson said the atmosphere in animal services has improved and he attributes Figarola's relationship with the Humane Society of the Nature Coast and his expertise with staff.
Figarola, a veterinarian with ASAP Animal Clinic, was hired on a 90-day contract that pays him $4,420 a month.
Figarola has declined to do the job full-time, citing the need to operate his own veterinarian practice.
Earlier this month, county commissioners voted 4-1 to approve a new animal services ordinance, with revisions and amendments.
The revisions include more specific language on owner-surrendered animals, the rights of animal service officers who come on private property to retrieve strays and firmer guidelines on euthanasia.
Joanne Schoch, executive director of the Humane Society of the Nature Coast Inc., said the addition of a veterinarian as manager can only improve conditions.
"A vet is definitely going to add to any animal control operation," Schoch said. "They're going to bring skills and knowledge that a general manager wouldn't have."
In August, the county announced Liana Teague would no longer be manager of the county's animal services department.
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