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DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. - Douglas County is claiming that its controversial new Animal Services Director has been threatened by one of his biggest critics, an allegation Carl Pyrdum denies.

It is the latest chapter in a fiery situation that has raged since shortly after Rick Smith was hired to preside over the nine year old operation.

"A month after Mr. Smith came on, the progression stopped and seemed to go backward," said former kennel supervisor Tracy Thompson. "

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Thompson is one of two shelter employees who have resigned since Smith was hired. Among their concerns is Smith's decision to reduce shelter space to house animals. Thompson says Smith eliminated 20 cages for cats.

"I was not going to make the decision to euthanize healthy adoptable animals to make space when I knew there was space available that was not being utilized," said Thompson.

Smith isn't talking. Instead, Douglas County issued a four page response to his critics.

Their statement contends the temporary wire cages Smith removed were a health risk to animals.

Shelter volunteers now have to apply and report to Smith's wife. According to the county, that's because volunteers previously worked with no structure.

The county singled out the man who is likely Smith's biggest critic. The Douglas County Administrator removed Carl Pyrdum from the Animal Control Advisory Board.

The county's statement claims Pyrdum made "threats to Director Smith, including the threat of personal harm."

Pyrdum told 11Alive Newshe hasn't threatened anyone, and would have more to say about the county's statement at a later date.

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