Huntington City Council to Contribute Funds to Animal Shelter

By: Eric Fossell Email
By: Eric Fossell Email

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Huntington City Council on Monday night approved a budget revision, which includes a $30,000 contribution to the Huntington-Cabell-Wayne Animal Control Shelter.

That decision was made despite nearly $54,000 owed to the city from the animal shelter -- debt that dates back as far as April 2010, according to city Finance Director Deron Runyon.

Jim Cumm, director of the shelter, told council members the shelter has been operating on a “shoestring budget” and that any sort of funding cuts would be devastating.

“It’s been a difficult road to travel so far,” Cumm said. “(The shelter) needs to have a different identity ... It’s a dark place for some people.”

Although the shelter has been under recent scrutiny, conditions are improving, said John Brumley, a volunteer with Friends of the Shelter. He said the euthanization rate is “down considerably,” and the shelter has added dog walkers and a groomer.

“I’m asking for everyone to be fair,” Brumley told council members prior to the vote on the budget revision.

Runyon said the city will continue to pursue the $54,000 in debt the animal shelter owes the city. He said most of the debt stems from employee insurance costs, while some is from vehicle fuel costs.

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