LemhiWeb Citizen Journalism

Leslie Shumate's picture

ANIMAL HOUSING 7-5-17 LMS

In the last 12 months the Lemhi County Humane Society Animal Shelter has given refuge to 220 dogs and 130 cats according to an annual report given the Salmon City Council by Humane Society President Cindy Phelps.

Phelps broke down the numbers as to origin of residence at the council’s July 5 meeting. She said 20 percent of the dogs come from the county therefore that means about 80 percent of the canines are city residents. Only about two percent of the cats are brought in from the county and the rest come from the city. The shelter has a successful rate of home finding due to a network of other rescue organizations, one in Boise and two in Missoula. When the staff is unable to find a local home the animal is sent to one of the other organizations where Phelps said placement is usually achieved in a day or two.

She said the Humane Society runs the Animal Shelter and is able to supply Spay and Neuter coupons from grants as well as its own funds. She said the Shelter works with city and county law enforcement in an effort to assure humane treatment of local animals and it helps with animal welfare problems such as an owner becoming unable to care for a pet. 

Phelps presented council members with data on shelter expenses so far this year. She suggested that an estimate of this year’s costs can be calculated by just doubling the figures. The building itself costs approximately $21,000 per year to maintain. Shelter maintenance is funded by yearly city and county contributions. Other expenses include feed, bedding, medical care and supplies, staff payroll and the Spay and Neuter program. She said there is one full time employee and two part time workers who do a great job with the available funds. Some of the board members also spend a good degree of their time helping around the shelter. 

The main source of funding for the shelter comes from the Humane Society’s Rags and Wags Thrift Store located in the old Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street. The organization has been rejuvenating the upstairs of the historic building and the space is now being used by the High School Drama Club. She said the Lodge Hall is now the club’s Performing Arts Center with a permanent stage, risers and comfortable seating for 110 people. She said the upstairs has become a really nice facility for the kids as well as other groups that make use of the rooms. So far, every theatrical production staged by the drama club has been a sell-out and extremely successful. 

When the space is reserved for an event it is on a donation basis, not a rental. Phelps said the building is fulfilling the hopes of the Odd Fellows who hoped when they sold it, the facility would continue to serve the community. 

As an added note Phelps said the Humane Society was audited by the Internal Revenue Service this year and even though the notice came as an unexpected surprise, the several years of demanded documentation was easily retrieved, compiled, scanned and turned in well within the 10 day time limit. She said the organization passed with flying colors.

Phelps thanked the city for its support in the past and hoped the Humane Society is in the city’s 2017-18 budget.

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