We were as upset as you were to learn that Spartanburg County Council may invest our citizens' tax dollars in another county to pay for services that are available at a lower rate right here in Spartanburg. The only way this arrangement could cost less than the longstanding relationship with the Spartanburg Humane Society is if Spartanburg County Council intends to ignore the county's stray animals who are not picked up by Animal Control Officers. In 2010, lost animals picked up by Good Samaritans accounted for more than half of Spartanburg County stray animals, over 5,500 dogs and cats.
These are important questions with serious implications for public health and safety, animal welfare, and everyone's quality of life in this community. Unfortunately we do not have the answers. We can only repeat our desire to sit down with council members and discuss a better, local, solution.The SHS has been honest about our intention to end our contractual relationship with the county. We proposed a gradual, reasonable, responsible, and humane approach to a transition that could lead to two strong programs: a strong animal care and control program that gets stray animals off of the streets and a strong humane society with programs focused on adoptions and progressive services aimed at preventing homelessness, neglect, and suffering. We are still willing to work toward that goal.
Jeff Horton (chairman) email@example.com or (864)583-0963
Michael Brown (district 1) firstname.lastname@example.org or (864) 573-1003
O'Neal Mintz (district 2) email@example.com or (864) 585-412
David Britt (district 3) firstname.lastname@example.org or (864) 595-3314 ext. 264
Jane Hall (district 4) email@example.com or (864) 433-8406
Dale Culbreth (district 5) firstname.lastname@example.org or (864) 472-6382
Roger Nutt (district 6) email@example.com or (864) 587-6185
We know all of you were disturbed by reports from
yesterday, regarding the suspension of the housing and care of the
county's stray animals. For all of us concerned about the care and
protection of animals in our community, it was painful to face the
county's failure to pay for this service. We understand your concerns
and we want to keep you updated on the situation.
Today, October 18th, Spartanburg County delivered partial payment for their past due balance of nearly $110,000 for the housing and care of county animals.
In light of this good faith effort, the Spartanburg Humane Society (SHS) notified county officials that we will provide housing and care for the county's stray animals until October 31st.
In order to continue housing and caring for county animals beyond October 31st, the Humane Society will need to receive the remainder of the past due balance as well as payment for November services. If we have not been paid in full by the 31st, we will be forced to suspend services for county animals indefinitely.
The Humane Society wants to believe that Spartanburg County will fund their responsibility to this community - protecting public health and safety. However, if the county does not intend to pay their past due balance, this extension affords them time to find an alternative service provider for humane housing of animals.
We have already heard from many friends who have written and called council members. We are trying to respond to you all individually, but it is difficult to adequately express our appreciation. Thank you for taking positive action for animals, and for taking the additional step of sharing your inspiring words of support with us.
It is not too late to reach out to council members. The animals in this community need more voices to speak up on their behalf. As elected officials, the decisions of Spartanburg County Council members should reflect the will of the people they represent. It is critical for Spartanburg County leaders to understand that the residents of this community know animal care and control is a priority that needs to be addressed, for the animals and for the health and well-being of the community. Help us spread the word by contacting county council members.We have heard from some community members who are confused by some of the media coverage.
President & CEO
On Monday, October 17th, the Spartanburg Humane Society announced to Spartanburg County Council Members and the public that Spartanburg County is past due for over $110,000 for the housing and care of county animals. Repeated calls and correspondence have gone unanswered.
County council members and county staff have been notified that the SHS will not accept stray animals from county animal control officers after close of business Monday, October 17, 2011. The SHS will continue to accept county stray animals from the public until 5:00pm on Saturday, October 22nd. The SHS will continue to accept critically ill or injured animals in need of immediate help.
The SHS wants to continue to work with the county to manage their stray animal population; however, the SHS can no longer continue to house county animals without compensation.
Since July, the county has been ignoring an increase in the cost of services provided by the SHS. Since September, the county has refused to pay for increased costs related to the longer stray hold. Now the county has stopped paying completely.
Spartanburg County has never covered all of the costs associated with responsible care of stray animals. Historically, the county has accused the SHS of doing too much for animals. Instead of lowering our standards, the SHS has covered extra costs for care we know is necessary, including vaccines that prevent diseases like parvo and distemper, as well as basic medical and behavioral screenings. This has stretched our budget to the limit.
Continuing to pay for the county's expenses for animal control threatens our ability to continue proactive programs that we believe are critical to animal welfare in this community, programs supported by donor dollars. In order to prevent closing the doors of the Humane Society completely - doors which open to many lifesaving services - we must close our doors to county strays until the county accepts their responsibility and pays their bill.
Two weeks ago, the SHS notified council representatives of our intention to end our relationship within a year. Our goal was to work together toward a smooth transition for animals and the community. Their failure to pay for ongoing services and their refusal to offer any explanation of why or when payment would be made has led to the suspension of services.
This is a very dark time for Spartanburg County. The SHS cannot imagine a community without a strong animal control program that includes responsible housing and care of stray animals.
We are calling upon citizens to make your voice be heard. Whether or not you care about animal welfare, if you are concerned that thousands of stray dogs and cats will remain on the streets of your towns and cities, please speak up. Tell Spartanburg County Council members that you want your leaders to invest in a strong animal control program.