News this week that the Animal Shelter for Huntsville will permanently close its door is sad but not surprising.
The writing has been on the wall for quite some time. Volunteer and not-for-profit organizations are suffering everywhere, and the animal shelter is no exception.
Through the years the shelter has deteriorated.
Overrun by cats, the stench coming out of that room was at times unbearable.
That number of cats enclosed in one area is not healthy. It breeds disease. It was therefore no wonder that when one of our own staff members decided to adopt a cat at the shelter, she was unpleasantly surprised. Unbeknownst to her, the feline population had a virus that had spread from cat to cat. By the time she found out about this minor detail, her family had grown endeared to their new addition, and true to form, their love was unconditional.
They have managed to cope with the virus and we’re sure if their new cat could speak, he would thank the family for giving him a loving home and loving him despite his health.
As for the animal shelter, we’re all responsible for its demise.
There are the awful fly by night pet owners, too cheap to get their dogs or cats spayed or neutered, hence our unwanted pet population grows. They drop the kittens at the shelter door under the cover of night and never to look back. They never think of the repercussions on the shelter, its need for more volunteers and funds to keep feeding the animals it takes under its wings.
Then again, the veterinarian community here has not made getting your pets spayed or neutered easy. There are no discount clinics here like there are in other areas.
In terms of management and some staff at the shelter, some seemed downright militant and it appeared to make it hard to turn things around. Every time a new sheriff entered the shelter with his or her sleeves rolled up, the opposition was so intense many left town.
Then there were issues with the town, and a valuable contract was lost, making the shelter’s financial situation worse.
In the end, the demise of the shelter is a dark day for Huntsville.