Donation helps Humane Society stay afloat

Published 11:30 am Monday, November 21, 2016

By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Senior

A donation of vaccinations will keep the Chilton County Humane Society open through January.

Katherine Reece, president of the executive board, said the donor wanted to remain anonymous.

Financial challenges, which have left the shelter $18,000 in debt, led to a company stating it would not sell the Humane Society any more vaccines until the bill was paid.

Without vaccines, the shelter would have had to close within two weeks because it could not address the health needs of animals.

Dogs and cats are vaccinated on intake in an effort to keep every animal in the shelter healthy, Reece said.

Reece said donations on the website have increased and helped to put a dent in the debt. However, donations are still needed in order to pay off the entire amount.

The also shelter receives funding from Chilton County and local municipal governments. Reece said the Humane Society was thankful to the government officials supporting the shelter.

“The shelter has had a bad reputation in the community for a long time, and we are trying to overcome that,” Reece said.

A meeting with local government officials and the Humane Society is in the works and expected to be held before January.

“I anticipate being able to get this date set up when we find out who are new person is from the County Commission,” Reece said.

The Chilton County Commission appoints a commissioner to act as a liaison to the board.

“We are trying to be a resource to the community, and not just a place where you bring your dog to be euthanized,” Reece said.

She said everyone who brings in an animal wants to see that animal adopted.

“We have lowered the euthanasia rate from 80 percent to 40 percent [over a three year period],” Reese said.

She said the average rate for rural animal shelters in Alabama is typically 80 percent.

The Humane Society has also tried to reduce the number of animals coming to the shelter by assisting pet owners in getting their dogs and cats spayed and neutered.

In addition to financial challenges, the shelter is also facing another transition of leadership as director Kimberly Ruck has announced plans to leave.

“She has agreed to stay while we look for someone else,” Reese said.

Visit for more information.