County Commission to consider new humane society funding system

Published 5:36 pm Monday, October 12, 2009

Extreme overcrowding at the Shelby County Humane Society may lead to a new financial support system for the animal shelter, according to the county’s community service manager.

The Shelby County Commission soon may require county cities with more than 5,000 residents to begin paying to support the animal shelter.

The announcement came after Community Services Department Manager Reggie Holloway made a presentation during the commission’s Oct. 12 meeting requesting the county officials consider the city payment plan.

“The state statute says that municipalities with a population greater than 5,000 are required to either contribute to the humane society or have their own,” Holloway said. “But it’s a statute that has not really been implemented in the county up to this point.”

If passed, the funding plan would help combat the humane society’s rising cost of operation, which has been fueled by Shelby County’s recent population growth.

Currently, Alabaster, Calera and Montevallo contribute to the humane society. If the commission approves the plan, it would require Helena, Pelham and Chelsea to also contribute to the shelter.

“Those three (Alabaster, Calera and Montevallo) are contributing something right now, but it may not necessarily be the prorated amount required by the state statute,” Holloway added. “Right now, our data shows that Helena, Pelham and Chelsea are not contributing anything.”

While the state law requires only cities with 5,000 or more residents to either contribute to the humane society or construct a city shelter, county officials will meet with all Shelby County cities over the next few weeks to try to get “everyone on the same page,” Holloway said.

“We will meet with all of the cities, no matter what their population is,” Holloway added. “We just set the number in the presentation we made to the commission at 5,000 because that’s what the state statute says.

“Really, we want everyone to pull together to help us achieve the goal we are all working for, which is to properly care for the animals,” Holloman added.