David makes case for county support of local animal shelter
Grady County Commissioner T.D. David renewed his proposition that county government work with a local non-profit organization to keep it viable in the community.
Two weeks ago, during a called commission meeting, David notified commissioners that Second Chance Animal Rescue was having to find a new base of operations and needed funding to continue to operate. The organization seeks to place unwanted dogs with adoptive families rather than euthanize the animals.
At the meeting two weeks ago, David suggested the county might appropriate $1,000 per month to help support the animal shelter.
He said that the loss of the shelter would be an additional burden on the county’s animal control department.
On Tuesday, David raised the issue again, this time during the discussion of the 2017 operating budget for the county animal control department.
David told commissioners he had shared some thoughts with Animal Control director Shawn Mobley about the possibility of adding on to the animal control headquarters and leasing the additional space to SCAR for $1 a year.
“They don’t have the money to maintain where they were and the owners are not interested in investing in the property,” David said. SCAR was formerly operating out of the old Cairo Animal Hospital facility on U.S. 84 East, which is owned by Dr. and Mrs. Eugene Maddox.
Chairman Charles Norton pointed out that 65 percent of the calls animal control responds to are within the corporate limits of Cairo. Norton suggested the city be contacted to share in the expense of supporting the animal shelter.
“We enforce two extra ordinances that we don’t have in the county and are picking up their dogs then when we have to put down their dogs we turn around and have to pay them a tipping fee to dispose of the animals in the city landfill,” Norton said.
Commissioner David acknowledged that Mobley was “cool” on his idea for the county to work with SCAR, but he said, “I think it is a very worthy thing.”
Commissioners Ray Prince and LaFaye Copeland asked David if the city had been approached about providing a facility to SCAR.
“As far as I know they’ve looked all over,” David said.
David said that SCAR founder Mollie Johnson has purchased a 12’ x 28’ building that is on her personal property where she hopes to continue to operate the shelter.
County administrator Carlos Tobar sought direction from the board concerning the matter. “I’ve got my hands full right now,” Tobar said. Chairman Norton advised Tobar to “sit tight” but Commissioner David said at some point Tobar and Mobley would need to provide the board estimated costs to add on to the animal control facility.
“It sounds good, but there will be money involved and I’ve already cut my budget down to the bone,” Mobley said.
Commissioner Copeland suggested the city be asked to get involved in the effort. David said if the consensus of the board was to allow him to do so, he would made contact with city officials to gauge their support.
The board agreed they had no issue with David discussing the matter with city officials.
Chairman Norton questioned how many adoptions did SCAR carry out per month and Commissioner David estimated approximately one per day.
County clerk Carrie Croy also said she would need to investigate any liability issues related to the county partnering with the non-profit organization and leasing space in a county facility to an outside group.