Hamilton Co. Humane Educational Society seeks increase in funding
By WRCB Staff
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
On Wednesday, the Humane Educational Society (HES) provided a presentation to members of the Hamilton County Commission to request an increase in their annual funding to meet critical needs of the shelter.
Executive Director of HES Robert Citrullo tells Channel 3 he's concerned about the condition of the over 70-year old facility and how it's impacting the animals they care for and services they provide.
The last year the shelter received an increase in funding was 2007. Citrullo said that many areas of the building are not safe for staff due to asbestos, a basement that floods and electrical repairs that need to be made.
The shelter currently operates on a $395,255 annual budget or $3.82 per capita. By comparison, the Young-Williams Animal Center in Knoxville receives $3 million annually, while Nashville's Metro Animal Services receives $2 million each year.
This funding will allow us to address basic needs, including additional staff as well as maintenance and repair of our current facility. The funding will in no way allow us to make many of the changes necessary at HES, but is critical to our viability. We have a business model and facility that are simply unsustainable,” said Citrullo.
In Hamilton County, the McKamey Center receives $1.6 million or $9.29 per capita to meet local needs within the 143 square miles of the City of Chattanooga. HES covers over 500 miles in the unincorporated and municipalities within Hamilton County.
Commissioners didn't give an answer to HES as far as a price, but did ask for an itemized priority list.