As a follow on to yesterday’s post on shelters and budgeting challenges, I wanted to share part of a 60 page budget proposal from Gaston County, NC which begins:
Gaston County’s fiscal condition remains stable but guarded for the current and outlying fiscal years.
I guess that’s about the best any of us can hope for considering the tough economy in recent years. Like many of us, Gaston Co faces the difficult challenge of stretching dollars and the budget document is full of ideas on how to save money. On page 54:
Function: Public Safety
Department: Animal Control
Tentative FY 11 Budget: $1,616,366
County Dollars: 55.3%
FY 10 Highlights:
• Operating increase for maintenance and equipment for facility in order to comply with State guidelines
• Financing of 1 Animal Control Truck
• Calls per Officer in FY 09 were at 2,448, up 20.5% from 2,032 in FY 06
• The number of animal control calls is projected for FY 10 to be 27,737, an increase from 25,822 in FY 08 (7.42%)
Animal Control’s reduction of 1% under the FY 10 Adopted Budget equates to a reduction of $6,400. For this reduction to be absorbed, Animal Control proposes:
• Eliminating the Adoption Program – $2,714
• Relying more on Carbon Monoxide – $3,925
So in summary, the proposal is to pay for a new truck for AC, quit bothering to adopt out any pets to the public and just gas every animal that crosses their path.
If the county accepts this proposal, I expect them to change the name of any “shelter” they have to Pet Slaughterhouse. Because that’s all they’ll be.
Added: AC Administrator Reggie Horton talks about saving 1% in the budget and priorities:
If Horton’s proposed animal control cuts were applied, adoptable dogs and cats at the shelter would likely be held for no more than the state-required three business days before being killed. That would reduce $2,700 in food and vaccination costs, Horton said.
Horton’s request for county funding next year includes $8,000 for new uniforms for 16 staff members. He did not propose that as an item that could be cut in his recommendation to commissioners.
The nature of an animal control officer’s job dictates uniforms needing to be replaced every two to five years, Horton said. Daily activities of dealing with animals often result in the uniforms being torn or damaged, he said.
“The same uniform you bought for a guy you hired five years ago may not be appropriate for now,” he said. “With my budget, in finding 1 percent, there are very few things to pick from.”
So there ya have it. AC officers riding around in their new truck wearing their new uniforms – picking up pets to gas because they don’t want to spend a portion of their new uniform money to feed them.