To the Editor,
After the Robeson County Humane Society asked for funding at the last county commissioners’ meeting, The Robesonian reported that County Attorney Hal Kinlaw said discretionary funds were meant for “individual districts and not a central area (such as Lumberton).”
Homeless animals wander the streets and highways of each of the commissioners’ districts. Unchecked animal breeding affects all districts. Nor are the society’s services central to Lumberton any more than the services of the pound are central to St. Pauls. The Humane Society gets calls daily from the district of each and every one of the commissioners.
Absent those services, the animals the society saves and adopts out will wash back up at the door of the pound, requiring the taxpayers to foot all of the bill for those animals. Statistics say that if they end up at the pound, most of them will then be killed instead of saved. Those taxes will come from all of the districts. The veterinarians who serve the spay-neuter program come from all regions of the county, not just Lumberton.
Absent this help to the county, which the Humane Society has provided for years, the requirement for and expense of additional Animal Control officers and other personnel related to animal problems, will affect each commissioner’s constituency and the county budget.
A decade ago the county subsidized the Humane Society’s shelter on Linkhaw Road, providing half the salary of the director and the rent on the facility, more than $30,000 annually. The total county contribution now has been $1,000 per year in the last few years. It should be noted that the our shelter would not exist except for a gift of the shelter facility from Lumberton City Council. Lumberton has given more each year to our operations than has the entire rest of the county.
If the funds come from a source other than discretionary funds, the effect will be the same. RCHS’s Friends for Life shelter remains full of adoptable animals. Sadly, we have to refuse many calls for lack of space. Those animals usually end up at the pound, a county expense. With at least some county help, RCHS’s program, largely volunteer and privately funded, can more economically promote humane animal control, thus ultimately saving the county many times the sums RCHS is asking from the commissioners.
Robeson County Humane Society