Jax Animal Control chief resigns amid controversy

Nikki Harris, chief of Animal Care and Protective Services to step down


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The division chief of Jacksonville's Animal Care and Protective Services resigned Wednesday, a month after at least two whistle-blowers made allegations that the shelter was being mismanaged and possibly putting animals' lives in danger.

Nikki Harris' resignation comes after one of the shelter's former employees wrote what he said was just one of the many letters sent to the city about the conditions.

READ: Nikki Harris' letter of resignation

John Dolores wrote a letter last year to the city of Jacksonville and he said he wasn't alone. He's glad the city is doing what he calls justice to all animals who lost their lives.

"There was quite a few problems, along with missing equipment, targeting people, there were many issues. Euthanizing animals that shouldn't have been euthanized," Dolores said.

Dolores described the conditions he saw as an Animal Control and Protective Services employee over the last five years that he worked there. He said it got so bad that he had to write a letter to the city.

"They lost a lot of great employees because of management," Dolores said.

Nikki Harris
Nikki Harris

Those sentiments were also expressed in more letters sent to the city's Ethics Commission last month, alleging that two managers falsified data and used fraudulent reports in order to maintain the no-kill status that the ACPS held.

The city couldn't confirm if an investigation took place after the reports, but on Wednesday afternoon they confirmed that Harris (pictured above) did submit a letter of resignation.

"I heard about that this afternoon. Seems like the city is finally starting to take the investigation seriously," Dolores said.

In the letter Harris states, "Although this has been a difficult decision to make, I am pursuing other opportunities that I believe will help me reach my long-term career goals."

Delores said that he is now considering returning to the organization that he left after working there for 13 years.