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DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. - There is an uproar over Douglas County's new Animal Services Director, including two on-line petitions demanding that the county take his job.

Rick Smith has been on the job less than three months.

One critic claims Smith is too quick to put an animal down.

"He believes it's a necessity of the job, and to manage as he wants he needs to be able to euthanize at will," said Carl Pyrdum.

Pyrdum was a member of the animal control advisory board until the county removed him on Tuesday. Pyrdum says his removal came after his complaints about Rick Smith.

"He looks at animals that have been picked up as nothing more than inventory," said Pyrdum.

Since his arrival in Douglas County, two of Smith's employees have quit including his shelter director.

The Southern HOPE Humane Society has written a letter severing ties with the county.

Douglas County Commission Tom Worthan says while he is concerned about animal control employees leaving the county, he's satisfied with Smith's performance.

"To me it looks like a witch hunt," said Worthan.

Worthan says when it comes to the euthanasia rate, nothing has changed since Smith's arrival."

"I've not seen it go up," said Worthan. "We're at 16 to 17%. Counties around us are 60 to 70 percent."

Smith would not comment on the controversy swirling around him. He referred 11Alive to the county spokesperson, who referred reporter Jerry Carnes to the county administrator, who was unavailable.

Critics claim Smith wants to change county policy to make it abundantly easy to declare a dog vicious.

"If a person reports a dog scared them, is my understanding, that's good enough to declare the dog dangerous or vicious," said Pyrdum.

The commission chairman says he's seen no such plan.

"There's been no proposal regarding the dangerous dog section or any other proposal that I've seen," said Worthan.

Chairman Worthan says the county administrator will address the complaints about Smith sometime next week.

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