After several fundraisers and donations, the Humane Society of Putnam County is back in the black.
Doors were closed in August due to funding not meeting expenditure requirements.
Board members met Wednesday and announced they have successfully raised enough money to pay back taxes owed to the state. This means planning to reopen its doors can begin. No official date has been set.
"It is remarkable, a miracle where we are today from two months ago," said Jane Irk, president of the board.
More work still needs to be done. They are not ready to reopen the doors.
One dilemma is board members need a strategic plan or a plan-of-action for the future.
This is not the first time the shelter has closed due to a financial crisis. To make this the last time it closes; members want to secure reliable income.
Newly elected county council members have remembered the shelter in their budget. That is not enough to ensure it will not hit a financial catastrophe in the future.
The dog tax was discussed as a source of income. Lynn Bohmer, secretary and interim treasurer, explained in 2006, legislation passed a county option dog tax. It means Indiana counties can charge $5 to dog owners. The problem is only 75 cents goes to the shelter; $1 is donated to the Purdue vet school; and the remaining $3.25 is left to the county. Most people who attempted to pay the tax decided to donate $5 to the shelter.
Other plans before reopening include facility repairs and updates, better use of space, seeking new ways to improve adoption rates, employee recruitment and grant writing.
The closing of the shelter has created concern for public health and safety. It currently is home to only six dogs and less than 25 cats. The shelter has turned away more than 150 to 200 animals since closing.
In addition, every three weeks Irk transports cats (sometimes dogs) on Saturdays to Pet Smart in Hendricks County for adoption. They have had five adult cat and three kittens adopted through the program.