The Colbert County Animal Shelter is in a budget crisis

The Colbert County Animal Shelter is in a budget crisis
(Source: WAFF Staff)

COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - The Colbert County Animal Shelter is in a budget crisis and might have to let some staff members go, if they can't get more funding.

The Animal Control Board says the county has failed to pay their fair share to keep the shelter running smoothly.

For almost a decade the Colbert County Animal Shelter has been over capacity----leaving the shelter strapped for cash.

Rilly Elliot is leading the Colbert County Animal Control Board to help make some changes.

"We came in to change the laws and ordinances…. What was concerning to me is where were all these animals coming from," says Rilly Elliot.

Elliot says once they started investigating the books at the shelter, they realized more than 50 percent of the impounded animals were coming from the county.

Tuscumbia, Muscle Shoals, and Sheffield were less than one-third of that amount.

"You got to start looking at who is paying what and does the state law say about that," says Elliot.

Each city is required to pay one dollar and five cents per household in their city limits toward the shelter.

This is a breakdown of how each city pays....

Muscle Shoals Pays- 76,746 dollars a year

Sheffield Pays- 54,810 dollars a year

Tuscumbia Pays- 49,971 dollars a year

Colbert County Pays- 55,566 dollars a year

You can see Muscle Shoals shells out the most money while Tuscumbia pays the least. However, Colbert County doesn't come close to what Muscle Shoals pays, and Elliott says they use the facility more than all the cities combined.

Since the Colbert County Commission does not pay according to the number of households---nobody seems to know how the county is calculating its dollar amount.

Elliot says the county needs to go back to the drawing board.

The shelter can pay its staff a fair wage that can okay to keep the shelter open that can pay to give the animals what they need to come through their doors if the county pays what they are supposed too," says Elliot."

Colbert County Animal Shelter employees could be out of the job if the Colbert County Commission doesn't come up with a budget fix soon.

It’s a story we’ll stay on top of and let you know what happens next.

Copyright 2019 WAFF. All rights reserved.