The junior board, made up of area high school students, would work with the foundation board at functions and volunteer their time at the Sylacauga Animal Shelter. The board voted unanimously to approve the program, introduced by president Debi Jacobson.
Board secretary Beth Caine suggested the students could sign up on a year-to-year basis. The board also agreed the junior members would need to do eight hours of volunteer work at the shelter every month.
Jacobson said she had seen firsthand the success of a similar program, the Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, which her son was a part of.
“Those kids were as involved as the adults when they attended functions,” she said. “With high school students, if you get one you usually get two. They usually come in pairs or groups. Young people will add a new flair and a new angle to (the foundation). And kids love pets. I think the pets will be the benefactors.”
The board also voted to approve the addition of six new members: Jim Green, Alison Griffitt, Celeste Stone Landers, Bill Murphy, Theresa Park and Wendy Pigford. Jacobson said she believed additional people would add to the “variety of knowledge” and help the shelter.
“I feel like we just can’t have enough help,” she said. “We have added different people from different businesses with different outlooks. And it is advantageous when you have information coming from all directions. You end up in a big debate sometimes, but you end up with better ideas.”
The board also voted to increase prices on adoptions and daily care fees.
The adoption fee was changed from $75 to $100, and the daily care from $10 to $30. Board members agreed the changes were necessary to afford the costs of services and housing of the animals.
Included in the adoption fee are initial shots, de-worming and spay or neuter of the animal.
“When we raise and care for animals for a period of time, it takes a lot of money,” Jacobson said. “Then, when we adopt them out, we are not making any money back. We were making $1.50 per animal (adoption) for sometimes weeks or months of care.”
Board treasurer Charles Sims said they continued to seek donations of money and supplies from individuals and businesses. He said the board had set up monthly payments to the IRS for back payroll taxes owed from previous management, but the total with penalties was approximately $19,000.
• The board announced they planned to install surveillance equipment outside the shelter to help prevent animal drop-offs.
• Caine said the donation box at Piggly Wiggly on U.S. 280 had been successful and planned to add a box at Piggly Wiggly on Alabama 21. ARF also has a donation box set up at Sylacauga Wal-Mart and The Daily Home office for food, litter and other shelter supplies.
The Animal Rescue Foundation has cats and dogs available for adoption. For more information on the Sylacauga Animal Shelter, call 256-245-2500 or go to www.sylacaugaarf.org.
Contact Matt Quillen at email@example.com.