The new officers should have a much more enjoyable term than the previous group, thanks at least in part to the achievements of their predecessors.
While it’s too early to declare a turnaround in the shelter’s fortunes, new reasons for optimism became apparent at the called meeting on Tuesday at which the board members voted in their new officers. After that formality, the board revealed two very positive recent developments — the acquisition of a new mobile adoption center and an inspection of the shelter by a local veterinarian.
The mobile adoption center is an airport transit bus that is being repainted and refurbished with a generator, a water tank and other items that will make it suitable to transport dogs and cats. The community is indebted to John Floyd for donating both the bus and the upgrades.
Once it’s ready in four to six months, if you want to adopt a pet, you won’t necessarily have to go out to the shelter; the shelter staff can bring adoptable pets into town on weekends.
Meanwhile, conditions at the shelter itself got a good report from Dr. Kevin Moulin, a Childersburg veterinarian, who toured the facility with ARF board members and the Alabama director of the Humane Society of the United States, Mindy Gilbert.
Before Christmas, the shelter was repainted and the rooms reorganized to allow better air circulation, improvements, which reportedly impressed Moulin, who has treated or euthanized diseased animals from the facility in the past. Moulin also commented on the number of adoptable animals at the shelter, as opposed to sick or vicious ones.
The shelter’s troubles are not over — far from it. The board owes some $14,000 in back taxes and penalties and only last week had to cut staff hours by 25 percent and close the shelter on Mondays to be able to make its payroll. Animosity surged during that meeting, and five days later the board had four new officers.
Yet as dark as the cloud over the shelter appears, the attention of the community has brought vast improvements. The animals are healthier and better cared for. Fewer die of disease and fewer are euthanized. More are adopted.
These incremental changes add up to brighter days ahead.