Animal advocates thrilled Hillsborough shelter director Ian Hallet is out

9:19 PM, Dec 3, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Animal advocates thrilled shelter director is out

Former Hillsborough County Animal Services Director, Ian Hallet.


Animal advocates were thrilled when Hillsborough County Animal Services Director Ian Hallet was removed from the shelter's team.

"We are very happy, but not to sound derogatory toward him... but he is just a symptom in the disease and the disease goes all the way up to the Board of County Commissioners," said local animal advocate Terri Lynn Sugar-Robertson.

"I did not want him to lose his job, but I wanted him to do his job or find another one," she added. 

County Administrator Michael Merrill hired a supervisor -- the retired city manager of Temple Terrace -- to access issues at the shelter in the last several weeks.  After the review came back to Merrill, he decided to move Hallet to a Parks and Rec position that was open with his same salary of $104,000. 

"Ian's management style was not the right fit for the shelter," said Merrill. "We all thought he was the right fit 15 months ago; when he was hired, there was a panel of people including community animal advocates who thought he was right for the position. But sometimes you just don't know until someone gets in a situation, how they are going to react, how they are going to handle things."

Merrill put Dexter Barge in Hallet's place as the interim director.

"Barge's responsibilities include accessing the problems at the shelter, stabilizing the relationships between the volunteers and the rescue groups with the shelter employees and instilling trust back into the community," said Merrill.

"We need someone there who is not going to cover up the problems and instead fix the problems," said Sugar-Robertson.  "We have we have issues with them not educating the community the TNR program was approved by the BOCC but it has not been implemented. (Trap and Release) We have programs that were approved by the BOCC that are going to help rescue groups, like spay and neuter programs and those are not being carried through; they are still sitting on somebody's desk and those the issues need to be fixed immediately.  We have pictures of dogs that have no water, the food is thrown on the floor, they have got no beds no blankets, some of their urine is bleeding, and that is animal suffering that does not need to be happening."

Terri Lynn Sugar-Robertson runs the Facebook page called Animal Crossroads of Tampa Bay.

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