The Knox-Whitley Humane Association is attempting to make up a $40,000 budget shortfall, but will have fewer animals, following the McCreary County Fiscal Court’s decision to end its agreement.
During a special called meeting on June 20, the magistrates voted not to renew the contract.
“It wasn’t anything Knox-Whitley did or didn’t do,” said McCreary County Judge-executive Jimmie W. Greene, II, explaining that a local group had established an animal protection league and had kennel facilities in McCreary County.
“It was a hard decision to give them a chance because they are new,” Greene said of the McCreary County facility. “We told them they have big shoes to fill, and we were giving them one chance.”
Greene said between 300 and 500 dogs from McCreary County were sent to the Knox-Whitley facility each year.
In addition to animals from Knox and Whitley counties, the KWHA facility also takes animals from Clay County.
“When we combined the four counties for our shelter, all four counties were able to spend less money than what they would have to spend doing a shelter themselves. Losing their funding will hurt us and I’m afraid them losing us will hurt them,” said KWHA Board President Devonna Giles. “Ultimately, we want what is best for the animals, and would like to help as many animals as we can help,” she said.
Giles said in an effort to make up for the lost of revenue, the shelter is holding additional fundraising events, such as the Stars and Stripes Adopt-a-Thon that occurred Saturday.
The next scheduled fundraiser is the 5K run/walk and dog walk at 6 p.m. on November 2.
In addition, donations to the shelter, in the form of money, gift cards, or new or gently used pet items are always accepted.
The shelter is a 501c3 non-profit entity, so any donations are tax-deductible.
The shelter is part of the Amazon Smile program, which allows individuals purchasing items at amazon.com to designate the shelter to receive .5 percent of the purchase price of selected items as a donation.
“We have survived with three counties before and can do it again, but it won’t be easy,” Giles said. “We will need the support of our communities to help us continue to provide a safe place for homeless animals who are waiting for their forever homes.”
“We also have a wish list Amazon,” Shelter Director Melissa McElroy added. The link to find the list is, https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/ZK4CAD6DU5OV/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_1?_encoding=UTF8&type=wishlist&fbclid=IwAR0os02NWJuJ89QMO6bPUD5meV8CvFa9vrLa2vsn8sm8EeOYFAuNm5HtYo0
Anyone who would like to donate their time to help the shelter is more than welcome.
Giles said there are a variety of ways to help the animals, either directly, or indirectly. Volunteers may give as much or little time as they have, and assist in whatever capacity they feel comfortable.
More information is available by contacting the shelter at 526-6925, or on the shelter’s Facebook page.