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Recognizing growing public dissatisfaction with the city’s beleaguered animal control operations, Mayor Phil Bredesen plans to announce the creation this week of an animal control advisory committee.

Sources say formation of the new body is an acknowledgment by the mayor that the city’s health department hasn’t adequately developed animal control policies for Metro or properly overseen Nashville’s facility for stray and unwanted animals. Bredesen has had ongoing dissatisfaction with the city’s health director, Stephanie Bailey, who has gotten consistent criticism from a variety of constituencies for disavowing the importance of a progressive animal control operation.

In terms of programming, Nashville is about 30 years behind other comparably sized cities and ranks among the “worst” in the nation when it comes to controlling and housing stray animals, according to the National Animal Control Association (NACA), a not-for-profit professional organization based in Kansas City.

While Metro recently hired a well-regarded professional to direct the city’s animal pound in Bordeaux, sources say Bredesen believes it will take more than a single person to correct Nashville’s problems. The new animal control advisory committee is expected to include a cross-section of people, including a veterinarian, a Metro Council member, and an official from the city’s health department.

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