Tampa, Florida-- The controversial head of Hillsborough Animal Control Ian Hallett is out, but he is still staying with the county with what some say is a sweetheart deal for the embattled Animal Services director.
Hallett's tenure at Hillsborough County Animal Services could be called nothing less than a disaster according to animal advocates. He was brought in a about a year-and-a-half ago to reduce euthanasia rates for dogs... which he did, but he was in continual hot water for the missteps he made.
You may recall last year the 10 news investigators raised issues about Hallett's endorsement of pit bull weight pulls, which some animal advocates say is cruel.
Hallett was berated for the mistaken killing of several dogs, disease outbreaks at the shelter and the fact he was not able to bring down the high number of cats which are euthanized at the shelter.
Volunteers just last week said a pregnant German Sheppard was unnecessarily euthanized. The dog had been adopted out of the shelter without being spayed as it was supposed to be and then the owner returned the dog to the shelter. When there was a problem with one of the puppies being born via a breech birth, the veterinarian was told to put the dog down. The New interim director says the pregnant dog was put down for humane reasons, however volunteers disagree.
Although County Manager Mike Merrill admits Hallett's leadership style didn't mesh with some staff and volunteers at animal control, Merrill has said he believes Hallett had some good qualities and can be an effective manager. Merrill told us that's why he isn't firing Hallett, but giving him a management job in the Parks and Recreation department where he will keep his $104,000 salary.
Some of Hallett's critics are calling it an early Christmas present for the man who couldn't run animal services.
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