Animal shelter asks community for help to make improvements

PAWS of Dearborn County Humane Center wants your help.

The volunteers and management behind the animal shelter are teaming up with the nonprofit Target Zero tostreamline operations to cut down on expenses and save the lives of more animals.

Representatives from the organization outlined some of  the shelter’s future plans during a morning meeting before county commissioners and a night meeting before county council members Tuesday, May 2.

In February, the shelter provided the county with some statistics. Some of the the stats the group found unacceptable, including the amount of money being spent on salaries, said Pat Hawkins, secretary/treasurer of PAWS, who spoke before the commissioners.

But this a new director and management team in place, the shelter, in the first three months of this year compared to last year, has reduced salaries by 22 percent, for a savings of $21,000, she said.

The shelter was able to reduce the number of people receiving salary and the amount of overtime, said Hawkins.

Although PAWS has an agreement with the county to run the shelter, it does not cover all the shelter’s costs.

In addition to donations, the group holds multiple fundraisers throughout the year, including their rummage and bake sale held in the spring and fall. The shelter also has many people who volunteer their time to help in the facility and as foster pet parents.

The partnership with Target Zero is a way to make even more improvements. Work is supposed to get started in May, including a community meeting set for 6 p.m. Monday, May 22, at the Lawrenceburg American Legion, 201 Second St.

Anyone in the community interested in finding ways to save the lives of more animals in the community is welcome to attend.

The goal will be to reach zero euthanizations of animals at the shelter in three years or less, said Hawkins.

The shelter will need the help of the community  and public officials, she said.

Usually Target Zero only works with bigger shelters but  PAWS board member and Dearborn County resident Beckey Reiter was able to make the connection as the director of the Boone County animal shelter, she said.

“I would like to applaud you and the board for your proactive approach. ... I think sometimes people take for granted the facility we have and the job that you have done,” said county commissioner president Shane McHenry.

PAWS members are driven and forward thinkers. The amount of time spent on the rummage sale alone is difficult to imagine, he said.

During the council meeting, president Liz Morris thanked PAWS for all of their work. The group is a great asset to the county at large, said Morris.