Humane Society nearly debt free

Published 2:03 pm Friday, January 17, 2020

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

It was a time of reflection and talk of hopes for the future for the Humane Society of Chilton County board during its first meeting of 2020 on Jan. 16.

During the finance report, animal shelter Director Jennifer Fesmire said the organization was $1,600 away from being totally out of debt.

“Three years ago, we were a $100,000 in debt,” Board President Lee Helms said.

Others present commented on how far the shelter had come in that time and that they were glad to hear about the financial progress.

Fesmire also updated the board that the Humane Society’s application has been submitted to United Way to become a partner organization. An audit review, which will be completed by Hull & Russell, is the final piece of paperwork needed.

If the Humane Society becomes a partner organization, it would only need to submit an audit review every two years, rather than every year as it has been required to do when requesting one-time funding.

The Humane Society ended 2019 with $17,812.

There was also good news in the shelter report as the euthanasia rate was kept to around 10 percent for 2019.

In 2019, 2,151 animals came to the shelter. Of these, 1,239 dogs and 85 cats went to animal rescue organizations. There were at least 216 animals adopted. There were 386 that were euthanized.

Fesmire said rescue organizations do pay a fee for each of the animals, ranging from $20 if the animal has not been spayed or neutered to $125 for a dog that has been spayed or neutered. The majority of these rescue organization are outside of Chilton County.

In addition to the usual dogs and cats, 2019 also brought a pig, gerbils, parakeets and reptiles        to the shelter. The pig was adopted, and the remaining uncommon pets were sent to rescue organizations.

The animal shelter has 65 dogs and 65 cats right now. For information about adopting a shelter animal, visit chiltoncountyhumanesociety.org/adoption.

During the month of December, 119 animals came into the shelter. There were 23 animals adopted, and 68 animals went to animal rescue organizations.

The Humane Society board elections will be at the next meeting on Feb. 20 for president, first vice president, second vice president, secretary and treasurer. Anyone interested in serving on the board should email a resume and position they are interested to chiltonhumane@gmail.com.

The board is especially in need of a treasurer, as this person resigned before the January meeting. The treasurer will “handle the finances for the HSCC, maintain and record deposits, receive and maintain copies of all bills and receipts, and disperse all funds of the

HSCC as designated by the Board of Directors. Records are to be maintained in file cabinets at the shelter for easy access to all board members and the director,” according to board information. The treasurer also develops the budget for the organization that is voted on by the full board.

Looking to the future, Fesmire updated the board that someone had volunteered to continually donate funding for an officer manager. A potential candidate for the position was discussed, and the board plans on meeting with them and making a decision in the near future.

Raising the salary for the shelter director was discussed. While board members were supportive of the idea, whether the organization could afford it was unknown and is expected to be researched.

The donation toward building a new facility was again discussed. Chilton County Commissioner Jimmie Hardee mentioned land next to the jail that the organization could lease from the county. However, there were concerns that there might not be enough room for the size facility needed as the county continues to grow due to planned economic development. Clanton City Councilman Jeffrey Price said this growth needs to be considered in long-term planning for the organization. Price encouraged the board to develop an idea of what they would want a new facility to include and have a conceptual drawing done.

Price said having a better facility may also increase the number of adoptions.