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Humane society presents audit
Review determines finances in order
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An auditor with a Marietta accounting firm gave the Dawson County Humane Society’s finances a clean bill of health.


Pepper Pettit and Andrea McKenzie, who serve on the local animal shelter’s board of directors, presented the findings of the audit to the Dawson County commission Aug. 26.


In the report, Russ Goldman with Goldman and Company CPAs notes that the financial statements “present fairly, in all material respects, to the assets, liabilities and net assets of Dawson County Humane Society.”


The audit, which outlines shelter finances between June 1, 2008, and May 31, 2009, was required by the commission as a stipulation to the shelter receiving county funding.


“There were no abnormal factors. It’s a clean audit. We’re very, very proud of that,” Pettit said.


“We’ve gone back three times just to make sure and then he double-check his work. We’re very proud that we came out with a clean bill of health.”


Commissioners did not comment on the audit, which the county’s finance department plans to review.


According to the audit, the shelter took in $50,464 in contributions and about $67,858 in fundraisers. It received $288,362 in program services, which includes county payments for animal control, as well as adoptions, micro-chipping and low cost spay and neutering during that year.


According to the report, the expenses for the period reviewed totaled $496,994.

That included, among others, $178,415 in salaries and $83,967 for operations.


Subcontract services totaled $50,954, while spay and neuter fees were $45,794.


The society began the period with total net assets of $548,459 and finished with $477,815. The difference was attributed to increased expenses and operation costs.


The audit also outlined lease payments for property and equipment and other expenses.


Discussions over the contract flared up late last year when officials asked each county department and entity receiving county funding to cut back in the wake of economic woes.


After months of negotiating, the shelter volunteers and the commission reached a deal in April for the county to pay the shelter $150,000, the equivalent of $12,500 a month, in 2010 for animal control services.


Shelter volunteers initially rejected the county’s proposal, saying the cost to care for animals and prepare them for adoption was more than the county was willing to pay.


McKenzie said the current board is in agreement with the county’s budget cuts.


“We understand why they had to do what they did,” she said. “It just means we have to work a little harder at fundraising and expanding our funding through grants.”


The shelter’s audited financial statements are available upon request, according to McKenzie.


Added Pettit: “We want to be absolutely transparent and this is our first step.”