Equal Funding Sought for Animal Shelter
FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – In recent years, local governments have had to scrutinize where their money is going during a time of tight budgets.
In Florence, city leaders are taking a hard look at the jointly funded animal shelter for the city and county.
Since January, hundreds of dogs and cats have gone through the doors of the Florence-Lauderdale Animal Shelter.
That’s no different from most years, the only change though, supervisors are keeping track of where the animals are coming from.
Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler supervises the city’s Animal Control division and says, “We’ve tracked those numbers, and I think we are going to see roughly around 70%, three quarters of those animals, dogs and cats are going to be coming in from Lauderdale County.”
And Chief Tyler says that number doesn’t surprise him.
An issue he says that is arising, in the current budget year, Florence provided $406,000 to the shelter, Lauderdale County allocated $84,000.
Chief Tyler explained, “It is costing us more to treat and care for animals, it costs us more to house animals and feed them, we’re euthanizing less, and the city of Florence is doing all they can.”
According to Chief Tyler, the shelter has to have more funding.
Tyler says dialogue between the city and county has begun on funding issues; he just wants a more equitable solution to continue providing animal services to city and county residents.
To help with funding on the Florence side, the city is exploring the idea of pet owners registering their animals for a fee.
City leaders say it will be a one-time fee for animals that have been spayed or neutered and a yearly fee if the pet hasn’t been.
The Florence City Council must vote on the proposed ordinance before a fee ordinance can go into effect.