I am writing in response to Paula Moore’s guest column ("Community leaders, Humane Society must commit to new shelter," July 18).
I appreciate Moore’s opinion "that 99% of our city and county residents support the construction of a new shelter, and the construction of that facility is long overdue."
I also agree "both governments must, before the first dollar is handed out, receive in return some assurances that their investment will be worth the cost and that the Humane Society is running the shelter in an acceptable and efficient manner."
However, her insinuation of "waste or mismanagement" at the shelter is baseless and counterproductive. Monthly financial reports are compiled by Charles T. Mitchell Co. and submitted to all board members and officers. Harrod & Associates performs either a full audit or "Agreed Upon Procedures" report annually. The FCHS undergoes a full audit every three years; the last was for fiscal year 2017. We will be audited once again next year.
Board members and officers are volunteers. We neither receive compensation nor profit from the Humane Society.
In October 2011, total FCHS assets were $387,811. At the end of May 2019, they were $1,129,157. Our new building fund now (despite spending approximately $80,000 so far on new shelter schematic design, programming, technical exploration and marketing materials) is $543,752 vs. $37,481 in October 2011. Our reserve fund is $124,829 compared to $35,762 then. And our Myrna Mitchell fund restricted for spay/neuter services has grown from $186,768 to $204,979 despite annual expenditures of over $30,000.
We report financials and animal statistics to city and county government and have provided them with proforma budgets for the first three years in the new shelter.
Most importantly, our success rate for all animals is now above 90% for the first time is FCHS history. In 2010 65% of animals that came into the shelter were euthanized.
Local government underfunding of the shelter is a separate issue and the board treats it as such. We review our contracts before renewal and act accordingly.
We strongly believe current meetings with local government officials will demonstrate the efficacy of our new shelter plans and agree wholeheartedly with Moore "that governments find the funds for what they really want. It's past time for this to happen."
Sam Marcus is president of the Franklin County Humane Society. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.