Animal Shelter Needs Debated At Second Sales Tax Forum

By  | 

Dozens of people turned out Tuesday night, for the second of two public hearings about the recently approved sales tax increase. But it was one group of people that turned out in large numbers, hoping to get more funding for what they say is one of Dothan's biggest needs.

Volunteers and workers with the city's animal shelter, are asking city officials for more tax revenue to build a new facility and hire more staff.

“I've been out there and spent time volunteering, and I've seen the conditions that they're living in, and I just don't agree with it," said David Lucas, who volunteers regularly with the shelter.

Barbara Seaman who works with the shelter says, "The building is delapidated and decaying... by 2:30 this afternoon we had 27 dogs brought in, and the city trucks were still out picking up more animals."

Others who work with the shelter say staffing is another major problem. They say with 5 full time staff, it is very difficult to take good care of the stray animals that are brought to the shelter every day.

City officials say they are aware of the problems affecting the shelter and that they are doing everything they can to find an appropriate and speedy solution.

"We here at the city know there has to be a spaying and nudering policy, and we're working on solutions to all of those... the most immediate need is staffing, and we can do that relatively uickly, as quick as a government can move,” said Dothan’s mayor, Mayor Pat Thomas.

City officials have allocated 400,000 dollars of additional tax revenue for the shelter, over a three year time period. But they also say they will carefully study the situation to determine whether additional funding is necessary.

Anyone interested in learning more about the tax spending plan, make sure to log onto the city's website at