Vicksburg Warren Humane Society seeking increased funding from Warren County

Published 3:01 pm Thursday, July 14, 2022

Warren County doesn’t have a county-owned animal shelter, but the Vicksburg Warren Humane Society has contracted animal services with the county for years — and the organization is in need.

Executive Director of the Vicksburg Warren Humane Society Georgia Lynn spoke at a working session for the Warren County Board of Supervisors on Monday and discussed the contract the organization has with the county in the hopes of securing more funding.

“Currently we receive $125,000 a year. And that began on Jan. 1, 2004,” Lynn said in the working session. “And I’ve never asked for an increase before. I’ve always made it work.”

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However, Lynn told the supervisors that donations over the past year have significantly decreased. Many members are simply donating less money. Supply donations have also decreased considerably, Lynn said. Items like dog food and cat litter are being donated with less regularity, so those items need to be bought with the humane society’s funds, which are at the same time being squeezed.

“I can only see that as a correlation with the economy and inflation,” she said. “We’ve seen a lot more owner surrenders as well, just because people can’t afford them.”

She also spoke to the Supervisors about the difficulties the organization has had with insurance companies. She said that since the organization was dropped by Philadelphia Insurance, finding new providers that would insure the organization has been difficult.

“What’s happening is a lot of insurance (companies) are not covering facilities like these anymore,” Lynn said. “I’ve been told it’s due to dog bite claims.”

The insurance they were able to find has additional requirements that the organization did not have to meet before. For instance, they must now have volunteer insurance, since general liability would no longer be sufficient to cover volunteer staff.

Currently, Lynn is working with County Attorney Blake Teller to revise the contract to be voted on by the board.

“The way that will have to be worked out is through the budget process,” Teller said. “We hope to have this agreement in place beginning Oct. 1.”

That is the date the new budget cycle begins.

Teller added that there haven’t been any significant changes to the county’s contract with the organization in quite a while.

“We’ve been riding on the old contract, just year after year after year, with the same terms,” Teller said. “It’s been around a long time and they haven’t had any increases. But hopefully, they can figure out in the budget process what would be a good number for them to be able to continue those services.”

To donate or volunteer, you can contact the Vicksburg Warren Humane Society at 601-636-6631.