Shelter status remains unclear

Published 11:03pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

Reports were made this week about the Central Alabama Animal Shelter closing it’s doors to strays due to overcrowding, but according to a city employee, that is no longer the case, sending residents mixed messages about the state of the shelter.

A city employee, who asked to remain unidentified due to the fact they were not authorized to speak for the city, said Thursday the shelter is not at capacity and that an animal shelter in Montgomery had recently picked up several animals.

However, officials at the Montgomery Humane Society had a different story to tell.

“We did not [pick up any animals from the Central Alabama Animal Shelter]. We offered them assistance and they said they had everything under control and did not take us up on our offer,” Kim Crumpler, animal operations manager of the Montgomery Humane Society said.

Montgomery Humane Society’s executive director Steven Tears said their organization got involved after receiving several phone calls from Selma residents.

“We were getting people from Selma saying they had pets to surrender, but the Selma facility would not take them,” Tears said Thursday evening. “What we were trying to do was investigate exactly, were people telling us the truth. Just because Montgomery is a bigger facility, some people like to come in and surrender their pets to us, feeling like they’ll have a better chance for adoption.”

Tears said after calling the Central Alabama Animal Shelter, “[the manager] informed us that they were over run, and they haven’t euthanized in a couple of months. When you’re an open admission shelter, that’s not typically possible to not euthanize in a couple of months,” he said. “We were told they had puppies with parvo and something about dogs attacking other dogs, and then there was a problem with the vet and the city. He had some issues about coming in because he wasn’t getting paid.”

In an interview with WSFA Wednesday, Selma Mayor George Evans said the veterinarian charged with euthanasia at the animal shelter, had not been paid for his services and had not returned in two months.

Evans said that, because the animals weren’t euthanized, the shelter became overcrowded, forcing them to turn animals away. According to WSFA, the city currently owes the veterinarian roughly $1,300 dollars.

Evans approved the vet to work at the shelter, but board members said they never received notice and therefore, didn’t pay him. Wednesday Evans said the shelter was the worst he had seen.

“I don’t think it’s ever gotten to this point,” he said.

The Times-Journal made repeated attempts to contact Evans for additional comments Thursday, but those calls and messages were not returned. Also, attempts to discover which veterinarian was at odds with the city were unsuccessful.

“From conversations I’ve had with other people, [the city is] trying to work out the problems with the vet, but it doesn’t take two months to work out any problem and I’m sure Selma has more than one vet,” Tears said. “To let animals suffer for two months is simply unacceptable.”

Tears said he and his team reached out to offer help Tuesday, but were told by the Central Alabama Animal Shelter, the situation was under control.

“They said they had it under control and the vet would be back Thursday,” Tears said. “If they need assistance, we’ll do what we can for them. I don’t know who’s blocking the need for assistance. If they don’t want other people in the facility … I don’t know what the situation is.”

The Times-Journal also attempted to reach members of the Central Animal Shelter’s board of directors. Those messages were also unreturned.

As of deadline, it remains unclear as to whether the shelter is able to receive animals, or if the claims of parvo being reported at the shelter are factual.

  • NL

    I agree that the hours have to change. I know that the staff are on-hand whether the shelter is open “for business” or not. OTOH, how about some folks ADOPTING some of these animals? ALL my pets are rescues and they’re wonderful companions. EVEN BETTER…how about enacting and ENFORCING some spay-and-neuter laws? Fewer coming in as unwanted offspring and more going out to adoption would go FAR to settle these problems. The staff there do an excellent job, considering that they are so often just overwhelmed, and take very good care of the animals. SO: SPAY, NEUTER ,ADOPT!!!! Those are the best things you can do to help!!! BTW, Janet Ealum who organizes rescues here has saved countless animals from being “euthed” and gotten them to no-kill organizations. She could really use some help in terms of fostering and transporting! I’ve been working closely with her on the latter two and it’s a very rewarding thing to do! Some of you might have seen the feature the other night about “Pilots n Paws” on Channel 8..there some of “Janet’s dogs” on that trip!
    SOOOO, stop moaning about it and HELP!!!

  • Earle Ashe

    With four or five vets in Selma , I would hope they would donate FREE a little time for these poor animals. If I was a Vet I certainly would, however, knowing some of the Vets I am sure there is probably a lot more to the story. The Shelter also ‘t open proper hours for families to bring children by to see the animals . Hoping the Mayr and Council and also Probate Judge will get to the bottom of this for all these poor animals now, not next week .

Editor's Picks