Commission will consider shelter funding

Published 3:06 pm Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Chilton County Commission will consider options to increase revenue for the Chilton County Humane Society as a result of a lengthy discussion on Monday.

Commissioners previously requested humane society director Scott Missildine attend Monday’s meeting to address some issues regarding the humane society.

Commission Chairman Allen Caton told Missildine that the county litter agent Libby Ratliff addressed commissioners at the Nov. 14 meeting with concerns of how the humane society was handling cases of people bringing in animals from the county.

Ratliff told commissioners after picking up a dog on the side of the road and bringing it to the humane society she was told she would have to pay $40 for any animal coming from outside Clanton, Jemison, Maplesville or Thorsby.

Missildine said a member of his staff told Ratliff they had not received money from the county to allow them to accept the animal and she would have to pay $40.

Caton asked Missildine why the county was the only group that was on a quota system.

Missildine said the reasoning was due to the majority of the animals coming from the county and lack of funding from the county to pay for the animals.

Missildine said for the months of May, June, July and August the shelter had received 648 animals with 269 strays coming from the county.

Caton asked Missildine what sort of system the shelter had to figure out where the animals were coming from.

“We look at their ID and see if they are coming from the county,” Missildine said. “We then write on our intake sheet so we have a record that says how many come from the county.”

Commissioner Bobby Agee said he sympathized with the board members from the humane society acknowledging it is the right thing for people to care for their animals in a humane way.

Agee said he had been working on an idea to present to commissioners as a possible solution to help increase funding for the shelter.

Although Agee made it clear this was not a definite plan assuring commissioners they could explore different options, he suggested attaching money to the county water millage onto county customers through the Chilton Water Authority.

“I would like for us to pursue this,” Agee said. “I would like for the commission to hold a public hearing at the last meeting in January so we can reach a fair conclusion. It is just a public hearing to get the comments from the citizens of the county. We can hear those in favor and those in opposition and move forward.”

Agee said he would also like to invite the legislative congregation to attend the meeting to have all interested parties give their input.

County attorney John Hollis Jackson said there are ways to raise funds through legislation and having the legislatures attend the meeting would allow them to weigh in on possible solutions.

Jackson also noted that extra billing on a utility bill for the humane society might not work but the legislators would be able to determine whether or not that would be possible.

“The main thing we are trying to do is get something in place to generate some money,” Agee said. “Whatever method we decide to do we need to go ahead with it. It is our responsibility to provide animal control. We want to work together with the humane society.”