Humane Society and city propose compromise
By Maegan Rocio
The proposal, which was passed at a Waco City Council meeting Tuesday, would allow the city to take over operations of the shelter next month and allow the Humane Society to staff the front office and continue offering animal adoptions.
Don Bland, the interim director of the Waco Humane Society, said the details of the plan have not been finalized.
“We’re still working on negotiating the contract,” he said.
Bland said the City of Waco will operate the shelter’s kennel operations while the Humane Society would be in charge of adoptions of fostered and rescued animals.
He said if the deal is finalized, the shelter will continue to educate Waco pet owners on the importance of spaying and neutering their animals.
This past September, the partnership between the City of Waco and the Humane Society ended when the city did not renew its contract with the animal shelter.
The contract was not renewed due to disagreements about the requested funds of $375,000 from the city to be given to the animal shelter in addition to its yearly $300,000 in funding.
Before the proposed, the city decided it would hold animals it received for 72 hours, which is the state law requirement, before euthanizing the animal.
A petition was created in response to the shelter becoming a Closed Kill Facility.
Bland said the new deal will allow the Humane Society to focus on its mission.
“I think it will allow us to do what our mission is, and being able to concentrate on educating the public and doing educational things throughout the community and working and spending resources and funds to getting animals placed in homes and getting placed in permanent homes,” he said.
Bland said the new deal will give the shelter the opportunity to better consolidate its funding.
“We had to spend our resources on facility upkeep and taking care of the animals, and now we’ll get to spend our resources on finding animals new homes and educating the public on spay and neuter,” he said. “We don’t have to replace equipment in the facility.”
Despite the proposed deal, Bland said the Humane Society is still in need of donations and volunteers.
Bland said the Humane Society has decreased its adoption costs to $50 despite the amount not being enough to cover spaying, neutering and microchipping the animals.
Wilbert Austin, Sr., who is a council representative of Waco of District 1 who voted on the deal, said holding animals at the shelter requires a large amount of funding.
“I think that concerning the city and the Humane Society, the people don’t realize that there is a lot of money involved in holding animals,” he said.