Smith County Reaches Agreement With Humane Society

A last minute decision Monday will help keep Smith County's animal population under control for another year. A week-long disagreement over funding nearly ended the relationship between the Smith County and the Humane Society.

However, the new agreement means that things will continue as usual for the people of Smith County, and animal control will continue to be able to pick up and drop off the strays that once plagued some rural neighborhoods.

The court decided today to accept the contract as submitted by the Humane Society, which calls for just over a twenty five thousand dollar increase from the county. Although this contract was not approved when it came up last week, commissioners say they were always hoping to be able to continue the relationship.

Commissioner Sharon Emmert explained, "We were all concentrating on trying to keep spending at last year's level that we had no in-depth discussion about this contract. And I was really operating under the premise that there was negotiations continuing all through out this process."

Humane Society Director Gayle Helms said, "Now, we can really start concentrating on efforts to improve and expand this facility and to do some renovations, because we do want to improve our services and be able to have more animals that are up for adoption."

The Humane Society had already renewed their arrangements with the city of Tyler, as well as the other five entities in the county. With the new deal, there will be no fee for county residents to use the facilities. Animals can be dropped off at any time, although they still will accept donations.