Montgomery Humane Society Funds Run Dry; County Asked for Help


By Jessica Gertler

Humane Society employees say they are in desperate need of money. They say the agency is $50,000 short, and if they can't find it, they won't be able to operate.

Montgomery Humane Society employees say right now, they only have $2,000 left in their bank account. They say that's not enough to pay their employees and take care of the animals.

Every room at the Montgomery Humane Society is occupied, but with funds running dry that may no longer be the case.

"It is really a struggle to keep these animals healthy," says Steven Tears, Executive Director of the Montgomery Humane Society. "It will result without a doubt in higher euthanization rates."

Tears says in 2009, the County Commission slashed funding by 12.5 percent.

"Since then, expenses running a shelter, or veterinary services, have gone up significantly," he says.

In addition, he says this year the Humane Society has paid for the materials to build a dog park in Montgomery.

Tears says that's affected the money, "but to what effect, we are unsure."

Tears says there is no where left to make cuts. Labor hours have been reduced, and employees are making minimum wage.  As it stands, he says they won't make payroll.

"It wasn't a matter of will I get paid. It was more of a concern how are we going to feed these animals," says Joshua Rapp, a full-time employee.

For a short term solution, the County Commission has agreed to front the Humane Society its quarterly payment six weeks in advance

"We surely don't want to lose employees, and we don't want to citizens to lose those services," says County Commissioner Reed Ingram.

As for a long term solution, Ingram says that's still in the works.

"I have talked to the Mayor of Pike Road.  He is interested in looking at it, and bringing it to the council. They are going to have to do something with a Humane Shelter. They are possibly wanting to come in and be a tripod of funding," he says.

Ingram says the County Commission will vote next week on whether they will give the Humane Society up to $50,000 to get through the year.

City leaders say they too will be giving the agency some money.

Tears says the lack of funding will not affect the dog park. It is still set to open in the near future.

In the meantime, the best way you can help out is by adopting an animal, or donating to the Humane Society.

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