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All: Thank you so much for your comments. We really need a dialogue about why the city wishes to run the animal shelter when they rely heavily on RCHS volunteers and money. The Routt County Humane Society consists entirely of volunteers. There is no salary structure. We are a non-profit organization. Last year, after numerous meetings with city staff, we were encouraged to create a detailed business plan to "take over" the shelter. This business plan (or "analysis" as it was called by Ms. Weber) detailed all income and expenses of a RCHS-run facility. Our extensive plan explained staffing, operational costs, and projections of revenue. When we submitted our proposal, it was flatly rejected and the city did not offer a counter-proposal. We were told by an unpaid city intern that it did not save the city money. The plan never made it to the city council nor, as far as I understand, past the intern. Additionally, we were informed by the city that it did not have to go by the city council, except as a courtesy measure. Our business plan did not ask the city to give us the building. Indeed, our plan was to lease the building from the city, and we budgeted for RCHS to pay the expenses of building and grounds maintenance, utilities and building insurance. The animal control officers would also be maintained. RCHS spends approximately $60,000 each year for the medical care of shelter animals. The city pays $0. If we were to pull our support away from the shelter, the city would be forced to pay for Colorado state law spay and neuters along with medical care. The city has it good now. As long as we keep paying the medical bills, supply the vet and the volunteers who staff the shelter, the city is believes they don't need to turn it over to us. However, RCHS is ready and willing to create a shelter where the best interest of the community and the animals is first priority. We would rather use the existing facility, but frankly, we don't need the city to run the shelter. But the city needs us.
Please continue to to ask questions, write letters to the editor, and talk to your council members. Thank you so much for your support. -Molly
Tim, thank you for the correction. It's 10:44 going east.
I would also recommend that every city council member ride the city bus. Especially during the summer schedule when everyone is packed into the last bus from downtown to the mountain area. It is standing room only, loud and usually quite a drunken scene. As well, it would be nice if the last bus left downtown later than 11:44pm. The bars are open until 2am, so everyone who wants to stay out later than 11:44 must find a different way home. It stands to reason that a lot of those people probably choose to drive.
"This town loves dogs so much there is just a single pooch in residence in the animal shelter on Critter Court right now."
I don't agree with this statement and here is why.
First of all, the number of dogs in the shelter reflects the fact that the shelter does not accept dogs from other high-kill shelters or other counties. With one dog available for adoption, we have approximately 20 open kennels. The citizens of this county, who pay for the shelter, could choose to allow dogs from high-kill shelters to come to our shelter and be available for adoption.
Second, if this town (aka the City of Steamboat Springs) REALLY loved dogs, they would open their doors to the public on Friday afternoons. People could get their dogs "out of jail", take dogs for walks, socialize cats and see animals who are adoptable or lost. However, even with the staff hours restored post-furlough, the staff has chosen not to open their doors to the public on Fridays.
Third, If this City cared so much about dogs, they would adequately staff the shelter so that the Routt County Humane Society doesn't have to staff the shelter with VOLUNTEERS, just to keep the shelter open to the public. What other City building relies on volunteers just to be open to the public?
Fourth, the City would pay for veterinary care for the animals in the shelter. The City chooses not to pay for vet care for our sheltered animals. So, charities such as the Routt County Humane Society and The Animal Assistance League are saddled with paying for the care that these animals need. Medical care is given to EVERY animal who is adopted out of the shelter.
I do not wish to disrespect the STAFF at the shelter. I want our community to know how little our TOWN does for our homeless animals.
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