A decision to increase funding to the Ellis County SPCA was tabled at the Tuesday morning commissioners court meeting. Staff members requested a five percent increase to cover the rising operating cost to house, feed, and provide medical care for animals at the shelter.
Treasurer Martha Weedon told the court the shelter is facing a tough road.
“We know, financially, we are not doing well. We were estimating through our fundraiser to bring in $100,000, and we only brought in $60,000,” Weedon said. “We hired an executive director, and we already had to let him go because we couldn’t make our payroll.”
Shelter manager Jan Johnson explained that it costs around $21 a day to house an animal for three days. The facility has a total of 42 kennels that it uses in its operations.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Lane Grayson expressed his frustration about the situation, which had already been acted upon by the court. Commissioners approved an increase six months ago to help with operating cost.
“I certainly understand the value that you guys do for our county and our citizens, and I don’t want you to think that my comments reflect anything otherwise,” Grayson said. “The only frustration that I have is we made lots of accommodations just six months ago and here we are again. That is frustrating for our county, and frustrating for our departments.”
Sheriff Chuck Edge stated he is uncertain about the request made by the SPCA due how little time has passed from the previous request.
“The sheriff’s office and the county’s budget had to absorb that (previous) increase because it wasn’t budgeted,” Edge said. “We have already presented the budget, and it does not include a five percent increase for this. At this time I am not sure I would recommend it.”
County judge Carol Bush stated she didn’t want to make a hasty decision and wanted additional information from the SPCA before taking action. The request was tabled until the Oct. 3 meeting.