Shelter status remains unclearPublished 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.