Grants, fee hike and public response to threat of closure bolster the bottomline
By David Webb
TOOL–The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake recently received three grants totaling $45,000 from charitable organizations, putting the struggling animal shelter back on financial track, according to the president of the group’s board of directors.
Donny Shubert said the organization received $30,000 from the Meadows Foundation, $10,000 from National Globe Life and $5,000 from Maddie’s Fund. The grant money combined with $32,000 given by the community during emergency fundraising in the fall and restructured fee agreements with Henderson and Kaufman counties, along with nearby cities has given the group a big boost, he said.
“We’re in better shape today than we have been in a long time,” Shubert said. “We’re getting a great start for the new year.”
Shubert and other volunteers developed a new business plan for the group after it came close to running out of money for operations at the end of the summer.
As part of the new plan, the group asked the counties to begin paying a per-animal fee for homeless pets taken to the shelter rather than a flat rate per year and increased fees from the cities. Henderson County will now be paying $75 per animal, Kaufman County will pay $65 per animal and the cities will pay $45 per animal instead of $17.50
Both counties signed the new contracts, and all of the cities, with the exception of Seven Points, have approved the revised agreements as well, Shubert said. The Seven Points City Council tabled the agenda item at its last meeting, citing the need for further discussion because of affordability issues.
“We should be in pretty good shape,” Shubert said. “It all depends on the volume of animals we take in.”
Shubert said the group is grateful for the help it received from the community, local public officials and the charitable organizations. “People really stepped up and supported us,” he said.
Shubert said the group is considering shutting down the old building at the animal shelter and replacing it with “something new. That would be my hope, but we will have to see how things go,” Shubert said.
The group built a new building to shelter animals and greet the public about three years ago because of the age and deterioration of the old building.
Shubert said there is also consideration being given to establishing a local grant fund to pay surrender fees on animals delivered to the shelter by people who are facing severe hardships. The board of directors is still discussing the criteria, he said.
“Nobody wants to pay the fee, but some folks just really can’t,” Shubert said. “I understand that.”