Humane Society still in business

Published 4:33 pm Thursday, August 4, 2011

With the future of the Humane Society of Escambia County’s animal sheltering services still uncertain, HSEC Director Renee Jones is determined to continue her fight to keep the services going.
“There are a lot of things still up in the air,” Jones said. “We still need to resolve some issues with our budget. We are operating and hope to keep it that way.”
Jones said hopes for a brighter future for animal sheltering services in the county may be found with a new fiscal year right around the corner.
“With a new fiscal year coming up, we hope we can get settled in with some budgets from those who support what we do,” Jones said. “We are hopeful that we can make this work.”
Jones said the Atmore Animal Shelter has been closed, however staff members are continuing to provide services for that community.
“We had to move all of our operations to the Brewton office for a lot of reasons,” Jones said. “Even though the shelter in Atmore is closed, we are still servicing the area by answering calls and taking in animals when we need to.”
Jones said one change in Atmore is no longer having a drop-box for animals available.
“We don’t have a drop box any more in Atmore,” Jones said. “Our staff doesn’t man the office their with regular hours. We only use the shelter there as a place to hold animals for a few hours until we can get them to Brewton’s shelter at the end of the day. That doesn’t happen every day so sometimes our officers might not even go by the Atmore shelter. Because of that, we have discontinued the drop boxes there. Any animals that would be left there now would be considered abandoned.”
Jones said she realized that change for Atmore residents may cause some concern, but the action is one that needed to be taken.
“We are still working out some kinks and are using the Atmore shelter facility,” Jones said. “We just aren’t open to the public there because it isn’t manned throughout the day. We are trying to do what’s best to make this work for everyone in the county.”
Jones said the move back to the Brewton shelter location was made after a variety of repairs and improvements were made to bring the building into good condition.
“We were lucky enough to have our roof and the work donated by Knowles Roofing,” Jones said. “They did the repairs on the roof and some facia repairs on the building.”
Other improvements at the Brewton location has put a bright, new look to the inside, and soon, to the outside of the facility.
“We’ve gotten the entire inside of the shelter painted and freshened up,” Jones said. “We had the paint for that donated and have enough to paint the outside. We’ve just got to find the time to do that.”
Jones said the road ahead for the HSEC group is a little rocky, but hopefully a good plan can be put into place to benefit everyone.
“We’re still working on a plan that would be the most effective and best for every area of the county,” Jones said. “We know services are needed in every part of Escambia County from Atmore to Brewton. We want to do what’s best for the animals and the residents in this county.”
Jones said some volunteers for shelter duties and even some donations could be beneficial for the work being done.
“Our staff simply doesn’t have time to do everything that needs to be done,” Jones said. “With everything we have to do, our staff just doesn’t have the time to walk the dogs we have at the shelter. Volunteers who could come in an walk the dogs or even help with bathing the animals would be a tremendous help.”
With funding being at a bear minimum, Jones said donations of pet supplies and other supplies would help with providing services as well.
“Donations are still very important for what we do,” Jones said. “We are always in need of puppy food, cat food and cat litter. Those are the things we have to buy the most. Cleaning products would also be helpful. Donations of those kinds of things is important since we have to purchase so much.”
Hours of operation for the Brewton location have changed somewhat including hours available for adoptions.
“We are still adopting animals hoping to put them in good homes,” Jones said. “Our adoption hours are from noon to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.”
Regular operating hours for animal concerns and calls are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Tuesday and Thursday.