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Society’s funding hinges on audit

POSTED: December 23, 2009 4:00 a.m.

The local Humane Society must have a professional financial audit if it wants to receive funding from Dawson County, commissioners decided last week.


In a 3-0 vote, the commission approved a contract to pay the organization, which operates the animal shelter, $12,500 each month.


For the year, that amounts to $150,000 for animals brought in by animal control officers.


The contract, which also states the county would pay an additional fee of $100 for each dog or cat delivered by animal control that exceeds 150 animals per month, is about $30,000 less than the arrangement for 2009.


Commissioner Mike Connor did not attend the Dec. 17 meeting.


Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix made the motion to approve the contract, which includes a provision that the shelter have the audit completed by the end of June.


The commission did not require an audit when it approved the shelter’s 2009 contract.


Shelter board members have had several discussions regarding an audit of financial records over the last couple years. The issue, according to volunteer Brenda Lee, is the cost.


“But when you weigh it out, to spend $5,000 on an audit and look at what we could do with $5,000 for the betterment of these animals, the animals always win,” Lee said.


Shelter director Kay Harris said the society is hoping tax returns turned over to the county last week will suffice.


Citing the organization’s accountant, Humane Society president Candy Adams said the audit the county has requested “starts at $10,000.”


Adams said the society, which opened in 2008, is not in conflict with the county over the deal, although the drop in funding will be a hardship.


“Kay has cut her staff to the minimum,” Adams said.


The shelter has also stepped up its fundraising efforts with a pledge drive that allows donors to contribute on a monthly basis to offset the funding loss.


“We try to do a new fundraiser each month, whether it’s a bake sale, yard sale, golf tournament,” Harris said.


Added Adams: “We’re going to make it. We’re going to do whatever it takes.”


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