The Putnam County Human Society Board discussed its dire financial standing and subsequent closing during its monthly meeting on Wednesday night.
As a result of current funding not meeting expenditure requirements, the shelter will be forced to close its doors this summer. The board established a tentative closing date of August 1 if fund-raising efforts are not successful.
The Humane Shelter will receive an endowment of about $7,300 from the Putnam County Community Foundation in the near future, but the money will be used to pay back taxes owed to the state, according to Board President Jane Irk.
With plans for the shelter to close in early August, fund-raising has become the main priority for the Humane Society Board. According to Vice President LaChele Henkle Weaver members of the board are even using their private funds to support the shelter.
"Board members have made substantial personal donations to the shelter in the past six months," Weaver said.
The board discussed several avenues for raising funds including hosting clinics about the importance of spaying and neutering animals and installing microchips in pets. The shelter has plans to hold other "Save the Shelter" fundraisers such as a "Paws on Parade" event in which pet owners and their animals come together for contests and special activities.
In preparation for its closing, the shelter is no longer accepting animals, with the exception of emergency situations. Also, the nearly 50 animals that the shelter currently houses will need homes. Eight of the animals are already set to be transported to a shelter in New Hampshire. The board will also hold an Adoptathon in July in hopes of finding homes for the shelter's current occupants.
"We need to get at least half of our animals adopted in order to raise the money to re-open," Irk said.
The board stressed the importance of monetary donations and volunteers as key components to getting the shelter back to full working order. According to Weaver, even a donation of a bag of cat litter is helpful to the shelter's cause.
Though temporarily closing the shelter is not an ideal situation for the board, former board member and current volunteer Ann Provine attempted to find the positives in a negative situation.
"This is an exciting opportunity because we get a new beginning and a new opportunity to improve," Provine said.