Highland Supervisors consider animal shelter proposal

Monterey, VA – A new organization has been formed in Highland County to operate the animal shelter. That was the message brought to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday evening at its monthly meeting by Tony Huffman, of Monterey, who spoke for this new organization.

“We’d like to offer the county a proposal to operate the animal shelter, starting July 1, 2012,” he said. “We have submitted the paperwork to form a new 501(c)(3), under the name Highland County Humane Society. Our mission is to promote the health, safety, welfare, compassionate care and protection of dogs and cats through a cooperative engagement with Highland County, its citizens and other like-minded welfare groups.”

“Our proposal covers the following activities, all of which are covered in more detail in the document: daily volunteer operation of the shelter; animal intake into the shelter; adoption and transfer services out of the shelter; veterinarian care and public health and safety.”

Mr. Huffman also presented a letter of support from the Shenandoah Valley Spay and Neuter Clinic, offering their spay and neuter services to the Highland animal shelter at no charge. He continues with an overview of the Highland County Humane Society’s proposal.

“Outlined in the proposal is a one-month, one-year, three-year and five-year plan,” he said. “The HCHS will be governed by a board of five members. Board members will nominate a president for a one-year term, with a one-year consecutive term limit. To enhance a positive and productive relationship with the county, the Highland Board of Supervisors will be given the ability to accept or reject the nomination of the president, to ensure that we have leadership that will work harmoniously with the county. Legal representation is being provided by Ronald W. Baugh, PLC, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him publicly for his time and help in this endeavor. Thank you. Dr. Joseph Malcomb is our vet-in-charge.”

Mr. Huffman goes on to provide details of the budget for operating the shelter and a request for the use of county resources to support the shelter.

“We have formulated a 12-month budget, that consists of $25,000 of revenue and $24,000 in expenses,” he said. “The budget was created under a scenario in which there is an intake of 36 dogs and 75 cats, which is the number the shelter took in last year. Of our $24,000 in expenses, nearly $10,000 are expenditures needed to bring the shelter back to a level needed to operate – mainly for capital expenditures. A detailed report is included covering all revenue and expenses.”

“We will request from the county the following: use of the current shelter facility; permission to improve the facility and adjoining land, as needed; mowing and snow removal; electricity, water and sewer; and wireless internet access. All of these items, we believe, may currently be provided by the county.”

Finally, Mr. Huffman asked the Supervisors to provide some funding to help with start-up costs.

“Additionally, given that there be a period of time from approval until donations have started to come in, we are asking the county to provide $4,000 to help provide food, equipment and supplies. In asking for this funding, we researched the amount of taxpayer burden a shelter facility adds annually in the State of Virginia. The lowest was $3 and the highest was $7 per year, per taxpayer, with an average of $5. Our equation equates roughly to less than $3 per taxpayer, per year and would therefore be the lowest in Virginia.”

Board of Supervisors Chairman, David Blanchard, thanked Mr. Huffman for his proposal, and added that the Board would review the proposal and respond at a future meeting.

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Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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