Animal Shelter Funding

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Volunteers at the Dothan Animal Shelter, hope the recently-passed sales tax increase will benefit the shelter.

City leaders are discussing several areas where the revenue from the tax increase will go, one of which is for improvements at the Dothan Shelter.

Right now, only one paid worker is employed at the shelter.

The Dothan Animal Shelter was built years ago when the facility was able to accommodate the few animals that passed through. However, with Dothan growing so rapidly the shelter is seeing more animals than it can provide for, come through its doors.

Dothan is prospering and business is booming, but at the Dothan Animal Shelter the increase in population means rougher conditions for the animals. In August alone almost 500 animals were dropped off at the pound, and it’s only because so many volunteers donate their time and services that the animals are taken care of.

Dothan Animal Shelter Volunteer Barbar Seamon said, "The city wants more people and more businesses, but the higher the population, the more pets and that increases the number and the city has done nothing to offset this."

The Animal Shelter is in need of paid workers to take care of the animals and either a new facility or greatly renovated building to accommodate the overwhelming number of animals.

Chief Animal Service Officer Renee Skipper said, “I hope a lot of the money comes to facility to help animals. Dothan is growing and we're getting animals."

With the new sales tax passed, many Dothan residents are anticipating major changes at the shelter. City officials say the shelter is certainly an area they are considering better funding.

Dothan City Manager Mike West said, "I have asked the chief and the animal control officer to create a plan and I think it is safe to say that in six months to a year, we want to do improvements."

Officials at the Animal Shelter say it's the animals most hurt by the cramped spaces and too few workers at the facility.

A harsh reality of shelter life is the number of animals that have to be euthanized. Already this year, more than 2000 animals have been put down.

Shelter workers say while they desperately need new facilities and workers, the root of the problem can only be fixed through spay and neuter clinics and pet owners taking responsibility for their animals by making sure they are fixed.

The one cent tax increase goes into effect January 1st of 2007.