Members of the SPCA of Bradley County’s board of directors discussed budgets and governing policies as they met for the last time before the organization begins handling animal control services for Bradley County residents.
A contract the organization has signed with Bradley County government will have the group handling animal control for county residents who live outside the Cleveland city limits beginning on March 17.
Shelter Director Jack Cooper said progress on renovating two county-owned buildings into shelter facilities was going well. Concrete kennels and a drainage system have been installed in a building set to house dogs. Features like a handicapped-accessible entrance have been installed on the building that will be housing cats.
There was still some work to be done, but he said he expects the shelter to be finished before the opening date.
“I’m really pleased with the progress,” Cooper said.
However, the shelter is still in need of supplies like cat cages, he said.
The board discussed applying for grants to fund them, and also voted to allow him to purchase cat cages using money the SPCA had already received from donations.
As the organization has been pushing people to donate to the cause, its members have raised $11,495 so far.
The board also voted to hire a full-time humane officer to handle animal control calls. Adding an officer would mean the SPCA will have two who could handle such calls. Cooper said he had narrowed it down to two qualified applicants and was planning to offer one of them the position soon.
The new officer would be paid “somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 or 12 an hour,” Cooper said. He said that pay was “not very much,” and the shelter would need to hire more officers in the future.
Cooper said he had recently worked on budgeting the $80,000 contributed by the county, and the two officers were all the SPCA could afford to pay for now.
Director of Development Beth Foster said fundraising efforts would be continuing. A few different grant applications were said to be in the works, and the organization was in the middle of a campaign to get people to donate money and become “founders” of the shelter.
After the financial discussions took place, the board voted to adopt the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ “Guidelines for Shelter Operations” and sign the Humane Society of the United States’ “Pledge for Humane Discourse and Conduct within Animal Welfare.”
Cooper said both measures would outline the shelter’s goals for maintaining good living situations for the animals that would be staying there.
At the meeting it was decided that board members would continue to develop the shelter’s policies on everything from cleanliness to how often one person could drop off or adopt an animal.
Prompted by a discussion over an alleged case of animal cruelty that took place with a rescue group in Morristown, Cooper said the board might want to consider enacting a policy that it could refer to in the event it needed to send animals to other places.