Animal shelter gets withheld government funds

The Humane Society Yukon has turned a fresh financial page. On Monday, the society learned it will be receiving nearly $40,000 from the territorial government, president Seann Springford said Tuesday.

The Humane Society Yukon has turned a fresh financial page.

On Monday, the society learned it will be receiving nearly $40,000 from the territorial government, president Seann Springford said Tuesday. It hopes to have the money by the end of the week, he said.

“Once that comes through, we`re pretty much starting a clean financial state, or a new one,” said Springford.

As of last month, the society owed around $40,000 on between 15 and 20 different accounts, he said.

“It eats up pretty much everything that was there,” he said.

The society was to have received this money in the fall. The society receives money twice a year as part of an agreement with the territorial government. But the government withheld the second portion of last year’s funds because the society was not in good standing, after board members refused to obey an order from the registrar to hold a special membership meeting to elect a new board and review financial statements.

The Yukon Supreme Court ordered an annual general meeting to be held in December. Springford was elected at that meeting.

The board has submitted everything the government needed to release the funding, said Matt King, spokesperson for community services, including reviewed financial statements until the end of March 2012.

The non-profit still needs to submit reviewed financials until the end of September, said King.

The board communicates regularly with the government and is trying to get financial statements up until the end of December 2012, he said. The government hopes releasing this money will help the society get back on its feet.

But the society needs to have good standing before it can get a bingo licence – an important money-maker for the non-profit. The weekly event brings in between $1,500 and $2,000, said Springford.

Monthly expenses at the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter are running at about $10,000, Springford said Monday. That’s a big drop from November when expenses were a minimum of $29,000 and more than 60 animals were at the shelter. The board at the time laid off staff to save money, and the shelter stopped accepting animals from the community.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 13 animals at the Tlingit Street facility. With six employees, it can house 15 dogs and 10 cats. Full capacity would be 20 dogs and 18 cats, said shelter manager Amanda Farrell.

Most of the animals are from the city pound, and strays are welcome, she said. But owners putting their animals up for adoption need to make sure they are vaccinated and spayed or neutered and have proper documentation to prove it. “We’re trying to hold owners accountable,” Farrell said Friday afternoon.

The shelter may be able to pay for vaccinations. Paying to fix animals is one of the shelter’s biggest costs, and the shelter is trying to save money, she said. It can cost around $200 to fix an animal, she said, adding that veterinarians determine the price by weight.

The largest debts are veterinarian bills, said Springford.

A fundraising committee has been formed, and there are plans to raise money at Rendezvous next month, he said.

Contact Meagan Gillmore at

mgillmore@yukon-news.com

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