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From the information we’ve reviewed so far, it seems there could be some good cost savings for Brunswick County taxpayers if the county were to allow a nonprofit group to run the county’s animal shelter.
Last week, Rescue Animals Community Effort (RACE), made a pitch to the Brunswick County Health Board to take over shelter operations.
Brunswick County Health Director Don Yousey has said he thinks the concept is a good plan, one that could ultimately save the county money.
However, the board as a whole disagreed and denied the proposal.
There were some problems with last week’s RACE presentation—one being the organization has not yet received its 501(c)3 nonprofit status. The other was organizers didn’t have a business plan to present to the board for the proposed takeover.
Those are two incredibly important components, and it’s a shame all of them weren’t lined up before it went to the board.
The matter was further complicated by some community members taking the concept of an animal rescue group and running with it to extremes.
One person who spoke out likened the humane animal group to PETA while throughout the meeting questions were raised about how involved the shelter group would be with everything from agriculture to hunting dogs and “failed” nonprofit shelter ventures in other communities.
The county, without question, doesn’t need to get involved with any nonprofit group that has political ideology backing it. We would not support a move to a group that does.
But we can’t let impressions of animal rescue groups overshadow the possible community benefits. Everyone needs to look at the matter on the table, and not jump to unassociated conclusions.
RACE would like to use volunteers for day-to-day shelter operations, work to increase the number of adoptions and decrease the number of animals put to death, and work to increase spay and neuter voucher usage—all the while saving the county money by doing so and soliciting grant funding for which the county doesn’t now qualify.
What’s wrong with that?
Those are some of the many benefits a nonprofit rescue group could bring to the county shelter. And let’s not forget, the county would ultimately be responsible for the budget—another thing that would be good for the shelter.
We would like to see RACE or another nonprofit animal rescue group get its plans in order and come back to the county board of health with a stronger proposal, one that includes 501(c)3 status, a business plan, a healthy, active board of directors, and a reassurance it will focus on matters at the animal shelter, dog and cat adoptions, and rescue issues—not the political ideology that has some naysayers so upset.
We would also like to ask the board be willing to listen to future proposals from nonprofit groups and give a group that has all of its ducks (and dogs and cats) in a row a chance.