Madison County Animal Care and Control is starting off the new year with some changes.
The animal control facility will no longer be open on Saturday.
“It’s unfortunate that we will no longer be open, but due to budget cuts it’s a decision we had to make,” Katherine Conder, animal control manager, said. ““We have adjusted our scheduling to allow for it.”
The facility will be open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the exception of the holidays.
Regardless of the schedule, Conder said anyone who needs assistance outside of the facility hours can call ahead and make arrangements to come to animal control.
“We understand this may be an inconvenience for some, but the facility was only open for a few hours on Saturday,” she said.
Conder said the new schedule will make it easier for staff to arrange time off and reduce overtime. Aminal control staff will continue to take care of the animals seven days a week.
Despite the challenges, Conder said the staff at animal control are working to make a difference.
“I feel confident in saying, over the past year, we at animal control have made some adjustments so that we are providing a higher level of customer service and animal care,” she said. “We are reducing costs, but not sacrificing animal care.”
Another change includes the appointment of the veterinarian Adam Ohms. Ohms replaced Dr. Ryan Jacob who left the facility on Dec. 31 to take a new position at a veterinary clinic in Southern Illinois.
“We are looking forward to working with Dr. Ohms,” County Chairman Kurt Prenzler said.
Ohms graduated Western Illinois University with a bachelor of science degree where he majored in zoology and double minored in animal science and chemistry. He started his veterinary career working as an associate veterinarian in Galena.
In 2011, Ohms moved to Edwardsville when he began working at Hawthorne Animal Hospital in Glen Carbon.
He’s also worked as an associate veterinarian for Rosewood Pet Hospital in Rosewood Heights, Bethalto Animal Clinic, Animal Emergency Center in Collinsville as well Metro East Humane Society in Edwardsville.
In 2018, Ohms opened Heartland Veterinary Hospital in Edwardsville.
“I have worked on the private practice side of veterinary medicine for the past 10 years and I’m looking forward to the new challenges that Madison County will offer as I continue to dedicate myself to my profession,” Ohms said.
Ohms started in his new role on Jan. 1. The County Board approved his appointment in December. He is replacing Dr. Ryan Jacob who resigned on Dec. 31 to take a position at a veterinary clinic in Southern Illinois.
May 2009, Ohms received his doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Illinois.
He said he’s happy to discuss everything from primary wellness to doing orthopedic surgery to fix a torn cruciate ligament to surgery on soft tissue removing a parathyroid gland to managing a diabetic all in the same day.
“I get to enjoy every facet of medicine across multiple species,” he said. “The hard part is discussing the cost associated with healthcare — every veterinarian will tell you this.”
He said taking on his new role at animal control would be a challenge, especially trying to balance public resources with animal care needs.
“I am looking forward to being a part of the good work in reducing the number of animals that are euthanized and working with the animal rescue groups,” Ohms said.
Prenzler said he’s looking forward to working with Ohms, especially in ways to reducing the euthanasia rates for dogs and cats and finding all healthy animals a loving home.
The facility also put in a new multipurpose room for animals.
Conder said the room will allow a place for long-term cats to be spayed and neutered and a live a cage-free existence until they are pulled by rescues.
“The room could also be used for dogs that might need some down or quiet time,” she said.
The room can also be used for pet quarantines for animals with a possible contagious illness.
Animal Control is also looking for donations of items that can be used in the room such as scratching posts, toys or anything animals can play with or occupy themselves.
Looking ahead, Conder said animal control will put more resources into communications with the public and public education effort.
“Over the next year, I think we’re going to continue to grow our outreach for finding homes for the dogs and cats in our community,” she said.
For more information, check out the Animal Care and Control’s monthly newsletter on the Madison County website at https://www.co.madison.il.us/departments/animal_control/index.php.