MAYFLOWER, Ark. - Mayflower Animal Control is trying to sort out how to deal with staffing cuts as the unit is now down to just one animal control officer.
The reduced manpower raised concerns that the city would be forced to euthanize more animals, so the Pulaski County Humane Society has now taken in all of Mayflower's dogs to help ease the burden.
"They helped us out a great deal they took every dog that we had," Danny Leigh, an Animal Control Officer, said.
A group of volunteers called the "Paws and Whiskers Society" has filed for a 501(c)(3) tax exemption.
They hope to raise funds to help cover some of animal control's operating costs, like pet food and vet bills.
MAYFLOWER, Ark. - Budget cuts at Mayflower Animal Control are fueling fears that the pets up for adoption may pay the ultimate price.
The city says it doesn't have the money to staff more than one full-time officer. Volunteers say that's a problem, as the shelter already relies heavily on donations, free help and foster homes.
Danny Leigh is the city's only full-time animal control officer. He says he often finds himself working overtime.
"It's a seven day job," he says.
His workload worsened this week, with the city eliminating one of his part-time assistants.
"We just don't have the personnel to take care of everyone on a daily basis," Leigh explains.
But Mayor Randy Holland says he had no choice, after learning that Mayflower Animal Control went more than 6-thousand dollars over budget on staffing costs.
"I love animals and they do a great job, but it's just resources, money," says Mayor Holland.
Resources were further strained, they say, because the county doesn't have its own animal control, meaning that Mayflower often picks up the slack.
"We're having a lot of dumping out from the county into the city limits. So, we're taking on extra animals we don't have the capacity to take care of," Leigh continues.
"I'll be truthful with you, the other solution to this whole problem would be the county," Mayor Holland adds.
Since 2014, Mayflower has only put down seven out of the hundreds of animals it's taken in. Part of that is thanks to a strong network of foster homes and volunteers, like Taurine Main, who took to Facebook to voice her disappointment over the slashed funding.
"The animals are deserved to get a second chance to get the proper vetting services that they deserve," she says.
With new animals coming in all the time, some fear it's just a matter of time before budget restraints force the shelter to ditch its no-kill reputation.
"We will save what we can, but it's not a good thing," says Leigh.
Mayor Holland says Mayflower and Conway have the only animal control units in Faulkner County, and he's appealing to county leaders to take action on a county-wide shelter. He also wants to meet with those concerned shelter volunteers, to discuss other possible solutions.
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