The Jackson County Humane Society held a planning meeting on Monday night (Jan. 25) at Grace Episcopal Church in Ravenswood to recruit new members, answer questions and talk about goals for the organization as well as specific requests to bring up at today’s Jackson County Commission meeting.


The Jackson County Humane Society held a planning meeting on Monday night (Jan. 25) at Grace Episcopal Church in Ravenswood to recruit new members, answer questions and talk about goals for the organization as well as specific requests to bring up at today’s Jackson County Commission meeting.

Humane Society President Marilou McClung began with background information on the organization and her role in the group.

“The Humane Society has always been here for the benefit of the animals. Our effort has always been to reduce the percentage of euthanizations. Five years ago it was 70% and now it’s up to 83%.” She continued, “We agree that there will always be animals euthanized because of illness or behavioral problems. We would like to see that number reduced.”

McClung stated that as a writer for the Pandora’s Pet Talk column her goal was to inform the public, “I write the Pandora column and I don’t try to bash the shelter. I do try to educate people on spay and neuter programs.”

When asked, McClung confirmed that the animal advocacy group made an effort to work with the shelter in the past providing food and litter for the cats, volunteering and helping the shelter with adopt-a-thons. It was the Davis case, McClung said, that was the deciding factor in the group backing off from the shelter. However, the humane society president maintains the group still provides cat care items and medical care.

When asked by attendee, Ladonna Patterson, if the Humane Society had a paper trail to back up spending claims or to guarantee that the checks sent to the county commission were being spent on the cats, McClung replied that the JCHS was billed directly by Veterinarian Dr. Ann Gentry for shots and worming for cats.

In addition, McClung reported that the JCHS was also billed for services for the animals in the Davis case, unless individuals fostering an animal stepped up to pay for medical expenses and care. She also reported that the JCHS was still owed approximately $1,800 from the county commission for medical care paid for by the animal rights organization.

“Our books are open to anyone who wants to see them,” offered McClung.

The JCHS president was also questioned about the convenience of sending funds to the commission verses giving the shelter a gift card. The advocate informed that in the past the JCHS used to purchase gift cards for $150 so shelter employees could purchase what was needed for the cats the county commission does not cover.

According to McClung it was after JCHS secretary Susan Kent allegedly witnessed the gift cards being used for curtains and other items not related to feline needs by Humane Officer Cindy Katris that the JCHS decided it would be better to send funds registered mail starting in September of 2009 to the commission for the shelter.

In a separate statement McClung admitted that there kinks in the new system that needed to be worked out.

Said McClung, “Laura (Sullivan the JCHS vice president) got two gift cards for $150 last month and sent them registered mail to the commission office.  They wouldn’t sign for them so they were refused and returned. Also one check wasn’t cashed, so she is sending them all out registered again. Laura chose to give her contribution as the Humane Society commission contribution, so she wrote the checks from her account but, put Humane Society in the memo.”

Turning to the current shelter issues the group focused on what they would like to accomplish in today’s commission meeting.

Said attendee Mickie Casto, “I have no agenda, but to help these animals. We need to work with them (commission). Something needs to be done now. We need to go in with specific ideas and specific goals.”

Bobbie Chancy added, “Don’t come across as demands, but as requests. If they are positive changes, how can they refuse?”

Most at the meeting decided that requesting that commission look at foster programs as well utilizing rescue groups such as AKC Rescue (for purebred dogs) and the North Shore Rescue Group would be a good place to start to help alleviate any overcrowding and subsequent euthanizing.

A list of 15 individuals willing to foster animals was also collected to present to commission to show the group’s commitment to the foster and rescue program.

Fund raising project for the SNAP (Spay and Neuter All Pets) was last on the agenda. McClung invited those to participate in the group’s two Basket/Purse Bingos, which bring at least $2,000 each for the low-cost spay/neuter program.

Raffle items as well as craft items were also requested to help with the cost of the program.
The Humane Society meets the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church in Ravenswood. 

For more information on the Humane Society and its programs, contact Marilou McClung at (304) 273-2028, Ann Rauh at (304) 273-2961, Laura Sullivan at (304) 532-8090 or Susan Kent at (304) 273-0733.