Decatur County Humane Society out of money - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Decatur County Humane Society out of money

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By Sarah Baldwin - bio | email

June 25, 2008

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - The furry little bundles of energy at the Decatur county humane society, sadly are homeless, but certainly not unloved.  The employees and volunteers at the shelter work tirelessly to find them all families.

"We take in all of the animals that come to us. We're an open shelter so we don't turn any animals away," said Pam Immendorf, Decatur Humane Society President.   They've been doing the job since 2004 since they took over operation of the shelter from the city.

They stay busy, already taking in 275 animals so far this month, over 2400 last year.  Think about feeding and taking care of all those animals.  "It makes it very difficult because our budget is way in excess of our funding under contract from the city," said Immendorf.

 The city agreed to pay $78,000 but the shelter's budget ended up at $212,000 last year. The rest had to be raised soley from adoption fees and donations.  "The crisis has come about because we are no longer able to raise that kind of money. It is impossible to raise 10 to 12 thousand dollars every month. We can't do it."

And unless the city can significantly increase funding, they say they'll no longer be able to run the shelter.  City officials are trying to figure out a plan. They say they don't want the humane society to go under, but don't have unlimited funds to give.  Immendorf said, "As it stands right now we can operate through the middle of July and at that point we'll have to turn it back over to the city of Bainbridge." 

Now shelter workers are hopeful the county government will be able to step up and provide help. "We're in negotiations with them on what we can do to help. We don't want them to go out of business, I think they're a great organization," said Tom Patton, county administrator.

City officials agree saying they hope to find a solution that will work everyone involved. They say taking over the shelter themselves is a last resort.  However if it comes to that, they are prepared to do it.   

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