Shelter problems aired at meeting

Published 7:44 pm Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Emotions ran high Wednesday at an ad hoc meeting for the Selma Animal Shelter committee, aimed at remedying problems at the shelter that some say have been going on for nearly a year.

Selma City Council Ward 2 member Susan Keith led Tuesday’s meeting with those on the Central Alabama Animal Shelter Board as well as volunteers and concerned residents.

In a council meeting earlier this year, Keith made a motion for the council to vote for the shelter to have extended hours that volunteers can facilitate adoptions, the shelter stop taking in animals from surrounding areas and counties and also made a motion for the city of Selma to pursue getting those surrounding counties to contribute financially to the shelter.

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“We voted to extend the shelter hours so that the volunteers that come through the central Alabama animal shelter board,” Keith said at the meeting. “The shelter runs on city hours and those hours are not conducive to people who want to go and get a puppy or a cat.”

Keith told those at the meeting that at some point she hopes that the shelter, currently under the direction of the Selma Police Department, will one day be in its own department. She said they just have to wait until the next fiscal year — in October.

“But we don’t have that long,” Lorraine Alexander, volunteer worker with Wannabe Rescued said. “There are dogs dying down there right now, they are starving and freezing. Dogs are dying in their kennels. Their blankets are all wet. The puppies are on the floor, which is not supposed to happen.”

Alexander and volunteer Debbie Clark spoke at the meeting about the harsh conditions they have seen the animals in at the shelter. They asked Keith for permission to take pictures of the animals that are adoptable, but not yet on “adoptable row.”

Keith along with Selma Mayor George Evans granted Alexander and Clark permission to take photos of the animals so that they could post them to social networking sites and get more animals into homes and other rescue organizations.

Central Alabama Animal Shelter board members also spoke about their frustration with the shelter — that the procedures in place are not being followed. Keith said her plan is to get a copy of the standards and procedures and make sure employees are trained.