The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

April 2, 2014

Time to move forward at humane society

CLINTON — The Gateway area needs a humane society. We’ve known that for years, and after a three-part series last week showing various issues at the Clinton Humane Society, we still believe that sentiment is true.

However, something must change as the society moves forward.

Interviews and research revealed several red flags when examining the functionality of the Clinton Humane Society. It was a collective effort to get to this stage and we’re not worried about rehashing how the society has reached this point.

It’s time to look to the future, and that cannot be done without a firm grasp of securing financial sustainability.

The numbers don’t lie. The shelter is running at a deficit. That’s not unlike other shelters of similar size to Clinton’s, but the operation should take a hard look at spending and how it generates revenue.

Donors aren’t knocking down the doors. In fact, donations were down 55.5 percent as of Feb. 28. The humane society relies on a few major benefactors, and if they halt donations, which has happened, the society will find itself in a tailspin of dwindling funds.

The society must find other ways to keep expenses down and revenue up. Fundraisers, grants, seeking donations from businesses and possibly altering hours may be options.

It appears the board is looking to add more volunteers to the mix. If that happens, it could free up time for other employees to work toward securing added funds by applying for grants, seeking donations, etc.

The board must have a clear direction for what’s expected out of volunteers and employees. Change doesn’t happen by hoping. It happens with clear direction and hard work.

And citizens should demand change.

Taxpayers are subsidizing the humane society. That’s not a bad thing.

It’s the city’s duty to keep people safe from dangerous animals and maintain an attractive appearance void of stray animals roaming the streets.

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With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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