County spokesman Robert Quigley said the job position will be posted on the county's website again today.
Quigley said the county had two applicants for the position, which county officials had hoped to fill by October. Quigley said one did not have the experience required and the county could not reach a salary agreement with the other.
Quigley said the county worked for two months to try to negotiate a salary for the candidate, but she ultimately wanted more than the county offered her. The salary range the county is using is $65,499 to $106,808 per year, based on experience.
"Her requests did not exceed the salary range, but we offered a salary within the range and the county wanted more than what we offered. Typically, at the county level, employees start out close to the starting salary or within 10 to 15 percent," Quigley said.
Quigley would not say what exactly the county offered, or what the candidate was asking.
According to data obtained by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2009, the average salary for a veterinarian is $80,510.
"We're looking for either a minimum of two years experience with a heavy focus on spay and neuter operations, as that is what the vet will be doing a lot of, or a general practice vet with five years," Quigley said.
Quigley said the second candidate did not meet either requirement.
The job will be advertised and open for two weeks, Quigley said, and the next vet could start within the next four to six weeks.
"Our goal was to have everything in place by Oct. 1, and the equipment and everything is set up and ready to go, but we just have not been able to find the right candidate," Quigley said. "This is a new program, and we want to make sure we have the right staff in place to make sure it's as successful as it can be. So if the hiring process takes us several weeks or months longer than we had hoped, it will be worthwhile to make sure we have the best people hired."
In addition to the veterinarian, the county will also hire a veterinarian technician to assist the vet. Quigley said the county will begin looking for the technician once the veterinarian is hired, so that the new vet can be a part of finding the right technician. Quigley said once the veterinarian is hired, he or she will assist with general veterinarian issues, but will not begin performing surgeries until the technician is also on staff.
The Cobb Board of Commissioners approved hiring the veterinarian in February as an effort to lower the amount of stray animals in the county and surrounding areas by spaying and neutering almost every animal that comes through the shelter. County officials also said the process could also lower the amount of animals euthanized at the shelter due to lack of space to keep them. The veterinarian will work out of the county's animal control headquarters on County Services Parkway and will also give the animals various vaccinations and care for their health when in the shelter.