Favorite

To spay or to shelter? 

Faulkner Co. animal advocates want funds for sterilization.

While most counties in Arkansas would likely have to go hunting for funds to spend on animal welfare programs, Faulkner County animal advocates say their county has a different problem: It's flush with cash set aside strictly for unwanted pets, but no political will to spend it.

Faulkner County has a voluntary program that allows landowners to earmark a percentage of their property tax for animal welfare. Enacted in 2004, the tax program has already taken in over $530,000, money the Quorum Court wants to spend on building an animal shelter. Some animal advocates in Faulkner County, however, say a portion of the money would be better spent spaying and neutering animals to cut down on the number of strays.

Faulkner County Judge Preston Scroggins said the shelter would cost "anywhere from $800,000 to a million dollars." The voluntary tax program brings in between $70,000 and $80,000 a year, he said. The hope is that the tax will provide the shelter's yearly operating budget. "There's none of this going to be cheap," he said.

If the Quorum Court goes ahead with its plan, Scroggins said, Faulkner will be the only county in the state to own and operate a shelter.

Scroggins said there have been several groups that have come before the Quorum Court and pitched proposals for spay and neuter programs, "but the court just didn't seem to bite on it."

Judi Standridge, a volunteer with the Humane Society of Faulkner County and the HSFC's Companions Spay/Neuter Clinic, said the clinic has performed over 10,000 free sterilizations in four years, paid for by grants. She and others proposed a spay/neuter voucher system, paid for out of the animal welfare fund, to the Quorum Court last summer.

Standridge said the Quorum Court members aren't schooled on animal welfare issues and what it takes to counter the problem of strays. She adds that the proposal to build a shelter is simply a way to get animal welfare advocates "off their back." 

Standridge said many animal advocates in Faulkner County believe that even if a shelter is built, it will fill up quickly. "Then it'll be a mass killing," she said. "That's why our organization decided to use all of our money and effort in the operation of a spay/neuter clinic because we really feel like statistics tell us you can't adopt your way out — or even euthanize your way out — of the overpopulation problem. You really have to start with spaying and neutering."  She contends a three-pronged approach — using the fund to pay for spaying/neutering, a shelter, and adoptions — is a better idea.

Justice of the Peace Barbara Mathes, who represents District 4 on the Quorum Court, said the proposals for using the fund to spay and neuter have been vague. "I didn't think it was laid out well enough of how we're going to do it, where the procedures are going to be done, and that sort of thing," she said.

"What are we going to do?" Mathes said. "Are we going to pick the stray dog up and spay or neuter it and then turn it back loose? What are we going to do with it? ... Who is going to pick up that animal? Where are we going to take it to? There's a lot of unanswered questions."

Judge Scroggins said that going to the fund for a spay/neuter program would mean an even longer amount of time before a shelter could be built, and could even deplete the fund. "If they did dip into the fund right now," he said, "say you spent $50,000 to $60,000 a year on spay and neuter, it'd be gone pretty quick."

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by David Koon

  • The student-led Memory Project at Central takes history high tech

    With stories that matter.
    • Sep 21, 2017
  • Central High 60th anniversary

    A schedule of events, consideration of the past and the future, and more.
    • Sep 21, 2017
  • Join us Sept. 21 for Pig & Swig!

    Make plans to join Arkansas Times at 6 p.m. Sept. 21 for Pig & Swig, an event centered around two of life's finest pleasures: sippin' whiskey and fine swine. The event, which benefits the Downtown Little Rock Partnership, will be held at the Heifer Project Pavilion and Urban Farm near the Clinton Center.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Eligible voters removed from rolls

    Arkansas Times reporters contacted election officials around the state to see how they had handled flawed felon data from the secretary of state. Responses varied dramatically.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Real Republicans don't do pre-K

    Also, drifting away from trump, Hudson's downfall at ASU and more.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Asa on pre-K

    • Aug 17, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Latest in Arkansas Reporter

Event Calendar

« »

September

S M T W T F S
  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation