Quorum Court Approves More Funding For Washington County Animal Shelter

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)- The Washington County Quorum Court voted to approve more funding for the Lester C. Howick Animal Shelter of Washington County on Thursday (July 23).

In a special meeting, the Quorum Court approved an additional $10,500 to fund the shelter through the rest of the year after the facility used up most of its $615,000 budget. Justice of the Peace Eva Madison said the extra money should last the shelter an extra two months.

The measure was previously denied at a quorum court meeting on July 16.

Prior to the vote, Angela Ledgerwood, the shelter's director, said the facility is not out of money entirely, but said if they continue to offer all of their services, they will have to start turning away animals. Ledgerwood said this doesn't mean the shelter will close its doors.

"We're not at risk of shutting down, and I've heard so many rumors, we're not at risk of shutting down," Ledgerwood said.

She said their budget for this year was $615,000, compared to last year's budget of $650,000. Ledgerwood said the biggest added expense this year are cleaning supplies. She said last year the supplies were paid for by a different fund, but this year that money is coming out of her budget.

Ledgerwood said another large expense is medical bills.

"Coming into the shelter animals have to be vaccinated, de-wormed we have to put flea and tick control, we need to test them for heartworms in dogs and leukemia and FIV in cats," Ledgerwood said.

She said if the Quorum Court passes the additional funding, all services will remain the same.

Ledgerwood said they are in the position they are in because of the increase of animals that have come to the shelter this year. Ledgerwood said they have nine full-time employees and one part-time employee, and said their pay will not be affected.