By April Barbe
Klein Animal Shelter is in need of donations, and there is no donation too small, according to PAWS Director Jennifer Lee.
With the cost of feeding and caring for abandoned animals, coupled with the funds necessary to provide adequate housing for animals, Klein Animal Shelter staff are finding it difficult to meet day-to-day needs with limited financial resources.
“What we really want to drive home to people is that small donations that are consistent are what really make the difference,” Lee said.
In 2005, the shelter received donations of $26,000, although approximately $15,000 of the donated funds was used for the cost of operations due to a shortfall in operating income. The remaining 2005 donations are earmarked for outdoor dog runs.
“Our hope is to begin construction in the spring, but we still lack sufficient funds to cover construction costs for grading, concrete, fencing, water, sewer and weather proof cover. We were prepared to launch this project last Fall, but post-Katrina materials soared to almost double our designated funds. As such, we were forced to shelve the project while awaiting additional donations,” Lee said.
In 2006, the shelter received donations valued at $26,700, according to Lee. Donations are also given in the form of food, cat litter, newspapers and other household goods.
“With an average cost per day of $5.60 per animal, and an average stay of 10 days, the fees collected do not cover the cost for housing these animals,” Lee said.
The shelter is funded by a housing contract with the city, fees for surrender and adoptions of animals and the donations of private citizens and corporations.
Lee said the city pays a monthly fee of $6,303, plus a formula impoundment fee.
“To date, the city has paid $26,127 of impoundment fees. The fees cover the cost of providing housing, care and placement for the city’s homeless, unwanted and impounded animals. These animals are brought to the shelter by the City’s Animal Control officer and by Jacksonville citizens,” she said.
In the first year of shelter operations, 2,419 animals were housed, including 1,687 from the city. Additionally, the shelter provides quarantine facilities, in accordance with state guidelines for animals under rabies observation and being held during criminal investigations.
The shelter’s three-year capital plan calls for expenditures of more than $177,000, which must come from future donations and operating income. Capital projects include an outdoor cat room, facilities expansion and enrichment activities for the animals, Lee said.
“The $177,000 represents a total of our Wish List capital projects for the shelter over the next three years. In addition to the outside dog runs, the list includes an outdoor cattery, lawn and sprinkler system, walking trail and sitting areas, a storage building and expansion of the quarantine area, among others,” Lee said.
The funding for the projects will, of course, have to come in the form of donations, Lee said.
All fees for surrendered animals pay for the daily care and upkeep of the animals and facility.
Animals are accepted from three major sources, the City of Jacksonville, Cherokee County and areas outside Cherokee County. Animals coming from either city animal control or from private citizens of Jacksonville are accepted free of charge as provided in the city contract.
Cherokee County residents are charged $20 per single animal, $35 per litter or $45 per mother with a litter. Individuals living outside Cherokee County will be charged $50 per single animal, $60 per litter or $70 per mother with a litter.
“Fees are assessed to county and out-of-county residents, as we do not have support from these jurisdictions,” Lee said.
Donations may be mailed, brought to the shelter in person or made online or through a local bank using a bill paying service.
“Most donations are retrieved by a third party, because most don’t do first-person donations. But all donations are documented and sent to our CPA’s office,” Lee said.
For more information, visit www.kleinshelter.org or call the shelter at 903-586-7336.
By April Barbe