Warner Robins changes animal euthanasia policy

WARNER ROBINS — Mayor Donald S. Walker told the City Council during Monday’s regular meeting that the city no longer uses its gas chamber for the euthanization of animals. Instead, it now uses lethal injection.

Walker said the practice became official in the city Friday after hearing much of the concern in the community. Plans initially called for the city to use the different procedure when the animal control facility was relocated to its new home at Stalnaker Avenue. The city broke ground on the project in February.

However, the mayor said the equipment and the staff already were available to perform lethal injections.

“If you’re going to do it, why wait,” Walker said, who added two people on staff are qualified to perform the procedure and he is looking for more.

The city has come under legal fire in the past from the state and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for its use of the gas chamber.

During the meeting, the City Council conducted the first reading of an ordinance that would annex 11 acres where Sandy Valley Baptist Church is located into the city. The zoning of the property would remain single family residential.

The City Council will vote on the ordinance at their next meeting May 4.

If approved, the annexation would bring the city’s total for the year to 12 acres. Since Walker has been in office, the city has annexed 10,993 acres, but growth has slowed significantly with the downturn in the economy.

Also during its meeting, the City Council appointed Fred Graham to the chief judge position in municipal court and Teresa Jo Richards to a position in the court.

The move was made to fill the vacancy left by the death of municipal court judge and community leader Pamela Greenway in March. Richards is an attorney and Greenway’s daughter.

To contact writer Natasha Smith, call 923-3109, extension 236.