Humane Society explores Tuskegee University partnership

Published 11:57 am Friday, October 5, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Human Society of Chilton County is exploring the possibility of a partnership with Tuskegee University to decrease costs for rabies shots and spay/ neuter for dogs.

Linda Montgomery from the Shelter Medicine Program at Tuskegee presented information to the Humane Society Board of Directors during a meeting on Oct. 4.

She started off by complimenting the animal shelter on how much it had improved in the last four years when she had been there last.

“It’s not recognizable that it’s the same place,” Montgomery said.

The program already has partnerships with several animals shelters in the region.

“I am interested in taking care of your shelter, too,” Montgomery said.

She said providing rabies shots and spay/ neuter services to the animal shelters helps the school, gives veterinarian students practice and helps the shelters.

“I have some third and fourth year veterinarian students with me that rotate,” Montgomery said. “We ride around in this van. I make it as much fun as I can, but I feel like we do some good.”

Montgomery and her students go to animal shelters one morning a week to transport animals to Tuskegee, where the surgery is performed and the animals are returned to the shelters the following days.

“I have a senior elective that I offer for students to get practice, and they’re good,” Montgomery said.

Cost for a rabies shot would be $3.50 compared to the $12 the shelter is paying now. These services are provided on-site.

“If you have anything there that needs veterinary attention, we will take of it for you (while we are (there),” Montgomery said.

The cost for spay/ neuter would be $55 per animal. While this is higher than what the shelter is paying now, shelter director Jennifer Fesmire said it would decrease cost overall because the shelter would not have to pay to transport the animals to Irondale. She said it would be a good idea to continue having cats spayed or neutered at Irondale because there was a larger cost difference, but Tuskegee would be a good option for dogs.

In order to enter into such a partnership, Tuskegee University and the Humane Society of Chilton County would need to sign a memorandum of understanding outlining what each party would be required to do. Montgomery said she would talk to the necessary people at Tuskegee and get a draft to the board.

Medical costs had been a concern discussed during the financial report. Treasurer Connie Powell said the shelter was spending a lot of money on spay/ neuter vouchers. Fesmire explained some of these were for shelter animals and the funds would be reimbursed from adoption or rescue organization fees. By law, an animal cannot leave the shelter until it is spayed or neutered.

Costs for telephone and internet were also high, Powell said. Fesmire said the iPad that was used with the Square point-of-sale system had a data plan that they were paying extra for. She proposed canceling the data plan since the shelter has Wi-Fi. The Square can be used with a cellphone during fundraising events. The shelter will be talking to the company about terminating the data plan.