Funding Problems Lead To Humane Society Pull-Out At Shelter

It's a full house at the Navarro County Animal Shelter.

"We have 49 cats and kittens and 87 dogs and puppies," Director Dianne Short says.

"That's if none came in this morning."

Come Monday afternoon, the dogs and cats will change caretakers. The Humane Society is pulling out of the animal shelter they've run for the last sixteen years.

"We can no longer operate without funding," Short says of her less than thirty-thousand dollar budget. "We can't give them the quality of care we want to give them with no funding or support."

Dianne says after helping build the shelter, it's an emotional decision to leave it.

"It's kind of the end of a dream," she says. "You hope you can make a difference."

"And most days it doesn't feel like you did at all."

Beginning Tuesday morning, the city of Corsicana plans to take over the shelter to make sure the animals are cared for.

"I'm an animal person," City Manager Truitt Gilbreath says. "I have a dog and a cat, and certainly nothing's going to happen to the animals that's not very humane."

After a thirty day assessment period, the city will decide how to handle the shelter. Ironically, the city's choice may be more expensive.

"I think when the city takes it over, we'll experience an increase of 75 to 100 thousand dollars to operate the shelter," Gilbreath says.

"Our objective is the same as everyone else's. We want to be as humane as possible, and care for the animals."

With any luck, their tenants won't even notice the new arrangements.

The city of Corsicana hopes to keep the shelter employees on for at least thirty days, while they decide the best way to handle the shelter. Meanwhile, the Humane Society plans to take a more proactive approach, emphasizing spaying and neutering pets.

Reid Kerr ( reporting.