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Problems Continue At Bastrop Animal Shelter
Problems continue to plague the Bastrop Animal Shelter. Just days after the director was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, vocal volunteers are fighting to get the shelter's new volunteer contract ripped up.
Volunteers have been banned from the shelter for the past month, giving the embattled director a chance to reorganize the volunteer program.
Anne Ford believes the new volunteer contract is an invasion of privacy. "Highly unusual things for someone who just wants to walk a dog," she says.
In order to volunteer at the shelter, applicants must consent to a background check, random alcohol and drug testing, and agree to have their medical history released to the county.
"We do think it's an invasion of privacy and against HIPPA laws to ask for our medical records," says Ford.
But Animal Services Director Diane Mollaghan defends the controversial criteria. "There's nothing above and beyond what a regular county employee would be subjected to," she says.
Mollaghan maintains the only initial requirement is passing a criminal background check. "We're not asking for people's financial or medical records up front," she says.
"If that contract does stand then I will have to make the choice not to volunteer," says volunteer Cynthia Wickliff.
Some of the volunteers have asked the Bastrop County Commissioners to reconsider the terms of the contract. According to the director, four people have already signed the new contract.
By Alex Boyer