With concern about its ability to make funding obligations announced in April, contributions and volunteers have stepped up to support the county animal shelter.
“We’re safe,” SNYP Shelter Director Lori Treat said.
Treat had, in presentation to the Clinton City Council at its April meeting, told the body that her funding the shelter through her retirement fund was putting too great a strain on her personally, and without a funding source the shelter would shut down by June 1.
Part of the problem, Treat told then council, was that a charitable trust had been established to support the shelter, but that trust depended on the sale of assets which had not yet taken place.
The asset sale is still pending, Treat said.
Since then Treat said the shelter had received commitment from various sources to support the shelter, including a monthly $600 contribution from a Massachusetts animal rescue group the SNYP Shelter works with in providing rescue animals.
With the awareness raised by the announced funding pressure, Treat said volunteers, always a need at the shelter, have increased, slightly.
The pressure, however, was not over. Treat said that day, Monday, April 29, the shelter was scheduled to take in 13 animals, left behind when a rural home owner moved out, leaving his 13 pets behind. She was waiting for the county animal control officer to bring the animals in, Treat said.
The incoming animals would fill the shelter to capacity, she said.
Various groups had aligned to help the shelter when the funding pressure was announced. City of Clinton Mayor Richard McCormac said he was willing to help, where possible, and County Judge Dale James indicated support as well.
As to the now-provided funding and volunteers: “It’s nice to see someone would step up, and it’s at the same time humbling,” James said.
The county had released control of what was then the Van Buren County Animal Shelter in 2017, itself facing growing budget pressures. Since then Treat, with SNYP Arkansas, had taken over the shelter as a not-for-profit entity using what was once the county building.