Athens Review, Athens, Texas

September 30, 2013

HSCCL shelter reaches goal

Though temporary, $25,000 looks good as last month passes

Kathi Nailling
The Athens Review

Athens — The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake announced a month ago they may have to close its doors because of financial issues.

Donny Shubert, President of the Humane Society Board of Directors, is happy to report the shelter reached it's temporary goal of $25,000 to keep the shelter operating for another 90 days.

Shubert released a statement on Monday that read:

“The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake (HSCCL) has met its recent fundraising goal of $25,000 through community events and an online fundraising drive. These funds assure the financial stability of the Shelter for the remainder of 2013. HSCCL is now tackling its long-term financial viability and stability by rolling out a new business plan.

“Independent analysis of HSCCL finances indicates that the Shelter is frugal and well-managed. However, it also reveals a pattern of underfunding. This pattern has existed since the Shelter was founded 30 years ago. It is only through continued emergency fundraisers that the shelter has been able to remain open. Each time, the community has come to the Shelter's rescue. This cycle must stop.

“At present, Shelter funds are derived from the following: contracted monthly amounts from each of the two counties it serves, Kaufman and Henderson; per-animal agreements with several cities; adoption fees; surrender fees; and donations from the community.

“Financial analysis reveals that, in each of the county and city agreements, the cost of care for an animal is three to four times the cost that the Shelter charges. Therefore, every animal taken in by the Shelter results in money losses. This cycle cannot be allowed to continue.

“Accordingly, 90-day notices were given today (Monday) to both counties and to contracted cities to terminate the existing contracts. During this 90-day period, the HSCCL will work with each agency to come up with the best long-term solution for its animal control needs.

“Going forward, the shelter will rely on even more community support and involvement. A program is now in place to raise community awareness, to recruit and retain more volunteers and to increase adoptions. Plans are progressing to offer unique fundraising opportunities with the community, especially local businesses and churches. Other funding sources to provide steady monthly income are being investigated and the Shelter will continue discussions with our local and county officials.

“The HSCCL has provided services to the community for 30 years, and is determined to continue this service in 2014 and beyond. The Shelter will not close. The Shelter will instead implement this new business plan, and resize as required to meet it financial commitments.”

Shubert said the plans are to charge the county and the cities per-animal the Shelter receives from each individual entity. Shubert did not have a figure available as to how much would be charged to the cities and the county.

In addition to the two counties, the shelter receives animals from nine cities, including Mabank, Kemp, Seven Points, Tool, Trinidad, Kaufman, Eustace, Kerens and Log Cabin.  Shubert said, “We don't want to make it hard on the cities that are struggling. We can't thank the community enough.”

He said it is necessary to come up with a long-term plan.  Shubert said he plans on meeting with Kaufman County Judge David Woods and Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders some time this week.

The HSCCL has already committed to a number of community events for the month of October to raise awareness of the needs of the Shelter. Those events  include Mabank National Night Out, Heartland National Night Out, Giveback Day at Chili's in Gun Barrel City, Supply Buy Day at Brookshire’s in Mabank, Barktoberfest at T Bar T Farm Supplies, Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, Classic Car Show at Dairy Queen in Mabank, Parrot Head Chili Cook-off, Kaufman Scarecrow Festival and Painting Party at Stop-n-Gogh.

Gun Barrel resident Leslie Casey is organizing volunteers in the area to help at the shelter and to help foster dogs and cats. The volunteers meet the third Thursday of each month at the Dairy Queen in Seven Points from 11:30 a.m. to noon.

For information on helping the shelter or following the financial progression of the shelter, log on to www.hsccl.org.