Humane society shelter in urgent need of donations

Published 12:05 am Friday, August 26, 2016

NATCHEZ — Nearly a year after the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society opened a bigger and better facility, the shelter is still struggling to provide for animals under its care.

While opening the new shelter in September 2015 moved the humane society’s animals to a more spacious, cleaner and visitor friendly space, adoptions have not increased as some had hoped.

“I think there was this thought that we would move into our new building, and adoptions would greatly increase, and that has not panned out,” NACHS Director of Operations Sarah Wees said.

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Meanwhile, the shelter’s expenses have increased.

“We went from an 800-square-foot little building to now we’re in a more than 6,000 square-foot building, so everything cost-wise has gone up,” Wees said. “Electricity, water, all of those expenses have gone up.”

The humane society receives $50,000 in allocations from local governmental entities — $25,000 from the City of Natchez and $25,000 from Adams County — each year.

NACHS requested to increase those allocations to $30,000.

The City of Natchez has not finalized its budget yet, but the Natchez Board of Aldermen agreed at a Wednesday budget meeting to keep the humane society’s allocation at $25,000. Aldermen have said cuts will have to be made to the city’s budget in order to balance it.

Adams County Board of Supervisors President Mike Lazarus said the county’s humane society allocation would likely not increase either.

“There was even talk from some supervisors about cutting it,” Lazarus said. “I think we’ll probably keep it the same. We’re having a tough year. … We’re having to cut things here and there to make it work.”

The governmental allocations still only make up 12 percent of the humane society’s annual budget.

“We then have to go out and fundraise an additional $370,000 to meet our budget (needs),” Wees said.

The shelter is currently in great need of donations, primarily monetary, at the moment to continue providing services, Wees said.

“I think some people in the community might have the idea that since we’re in this nice big building now, we’re set, and in fact, the opposite is true,” she said.

One of the best ways to donate to the humane society is to sign up for its monthly pledge program, Wees said, which automatically debits donors’ monthly contributions from their bank account.

A form can be printed from the humane society’s website — — or filled out at the shelter.

Forms should be dropped off at the shelter, 475 Liberty Road, or mailed to NACHS, P.O. Box 549, Natchez, MS 39121.

The humane society is very appreciative for the generosity of the local community, Wees said.

“We greatly appreciate our current donors,” she said. “Thanks to their generosity, we are able to care for the homeless animals in this community. We hope others will get involved by donating, volunteering or encouraging friends to spay and neuter their pets. That is the most effective way to combat pet overpopulation.”

The shelter always welcomes donations of pet food, bedding and other pet items, Wees said.

The shelter’s hours are 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

All other times are by appointment.

The shelter can be reached at 601-442-4001.