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Shelter director: 'No-kill' shelter a utopian idea

December 4th, 2013 9:13 am by Tony Casey

Shelter director: 'No-kill' shelter a utopian idea

It appears things are in good shape at the Washington County-Johnson City Animal Shelter.

A yearly audit produced positive news regarding the shelter’s finances as well as its handling of animals.

Certified Public Accountant Mike Eddy compiled and presented the report to the Animal Control Board on Tuesday.

His overall assessment of the organization was that it warranted an “unmodified opinion,” which is the best conclusion possible. He said the shelter was doing an excellent job.

The report’s findings noted that for the audited year, which ended on June 30, approximately 6,600 animals were taken in — down 78 from the previous year. The shelter has assets totaling $791,000 and very little debt. Cash flow had increased by about $15,000 from the previous year.

The report indicated public donations were down by about 5 percent from the previous year, and that the shelter relied heavily on the city and county governments for funding. It would be good to drum up public support for future donations, Eddy said.

Dobbs informed the group that 436 animals were brought into the facility in November, roughly 200 of which had to be euthanized. The board questioned Dobbs about the euthanasia figures in an attempt to better determine how many were put down simply due to a lack of space at the shelter.

Dobbs said the shelter euthanizes animals for three reasons: temperament, health, and space — and they try not to let the third option come into play, although it inevitably does.

Intake and euthanasia numbers tend to drop in the winter, Dobbs said, and go back up come April. The board asked to see nearly a year’s worth of numbers to better assess how big a factor space availability plays in putting down pets.

On the topic of a no-kill shelter, Dobbs said that it would be ideal to have one, but called it a utopian idea. She said "no-kill" is a term that people get in their heads and use frequently without looking at the logistics or practicalities of running such a facility.

Space always becomes an issue, Dobbs said, even with no-kill shelters.

As for the new Washington County-Johnson City Animal Shelter, Peterson reported that the property at 3411 N. Roan St. has been surveyed and cost numbers should be available by the end of the year for the construction of the facility.

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