This latest crisis comes on the heels of the Hawkins County Commission’s decision last week to cut $1,500 in contribution funding to the Humane Society.
Through private donations Hawkins County residents and businesses have always provided the lion’s share of financial support to the Humane Society. With expenses rising and the recent funding cut, Humane Society Manager Clara Torres said Tuesday she’ll be relying on private donations now more than ever.
“We’ve got enough food to last about a week, maybe a little longer,” Torres said. “It’s hard to say because things change day by day, but we’re getting pretty low on all of our supplies. We’re in need of cleaning materials to keep the animal areas sanitary and disease free, and we need flea and tick shampoos because the fleas and ticks have just gotten out of control this year and they’re so hard to kill.
“We get stretched to the edge sometimes and we’ve been fortunate to have some really good citizens who step up to help keep us going. I guess what I’m saying is we’re stretched to the edge again and I need some help.”
The Humane Society is doing a brisk business these days. They have so many kittens and puppies they’ve converted one room into a makeshift nursery.
There’s a new batch of Labrador-mix puppies, and a couple of dogs who look like sisters each had a litter of their own.
Torres said capacity at the Humane Society is 55 to 65 depending on the size of the inmates, and as of Tuesday it was close to capacity.
Most of them are strays, probably dropped off somewhere by an owner who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, take care of them.
The economy seems to be hurting the Humane Society at each end of the spectrum. The number of stray dogs and cats increases when economic times are hard, while at the same time adoptions go down.
The adoption rate at the Hawkins County Humane Society is a little less than 50 percent.
The Humane Society is in the midst of an emergency food/supply drive. Torres said donations of dry cat and dog food would be most welcome, as well as donations of flea and tick shampoo, bleach and sanitary cleansers.
She’s also happy to give a pet away to a good home.
“Cash works too,” Torres said.
Anyone wishing to make a donation can call 272-6538 or mail donations directly to the shelter at P.O. Box 217 Rogersville, TN 37857.
The next organized fund-raising event for the Humane Society is the Dennis “Animal” Mays Memorial Poker Run motorcycle rally Sept. 27 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Humane Society. For more information on that event call 272-7406.