TAVARES As expected, Lake County Sheriff Gary Borders has asked the Lake County Commission to take back control of the county animal shelter.

In a letter to Commission Chairman Sean Parks dated Thursday, Borders noted that he is leaving office at the end of the year and said that as he prepares to hand over the reins to another sheriff, he believes the department should be "focused on its core mission of law enforcement."

The County Commission asked Borders two years ago to take over Animal Services and help steady a department that was plagued by multiple controversies over the center's high euthanization rate, low adoption rate and poor record keeping.

In his letter Thursday, Borders said the Sheriff's Office has made "great progress" in turning around the animal center by enlisting the help of community organizations, fixing up some of the facilities and improving the adoption rate.

Borders proposed that the Sheriff's Office continue to be handle animal enforcement ordinances but that the county run the shelter.

"This will allow the BCC to work more directly with the animal welfare community to develop a consensus on issues and programs vital to the ultimate success of shelter operations," he wrote.

One of those emerging issues appears to stem from a growing movement to do away with animal euthanization completely and make the animal center a no-kill shelter.

This week, County Commission Leslie Campione said she had gotten "a lot of input from people in the community who would like to see additional reforms at the shelter, including a desire to make it a no-kill facility.

Commission Chairman Sean Parks also said he had brief discussions with the sheriff about the request but said Borders cited concerns about the cost of the shelter.