Quad county humane efforts underway

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 31, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &045; In an effort to address growing needs for animal shelters and humane investigators in the area, representation from Sumter, Choctaw, Marengo and Greene counties have been meeting to discuss ways to get a quad-county humane organization in motion.

Lucille Carpenter, a Demopolis animal shelter worker who has been spearheading the effort, said the next meeting of the group will be at 6:30 on Jan. 7 at Smokin&8217; Jack&8217;s BBQ in Demopolis. She hopes to see more people from the surrounding areas join their efforts.

Carpenter said the next task for the group is to organize a board, who will then apply to be registered as a charitable organization. Then the grant-writing process will begin to secure funds for facilities, staff and other needs.

Carpenter said the group, which is in its earliest stages, is made up of people from different backgrounds, interests and locations.

Their biggest need right now, she said, is to find people with knowledge to help get their cause off the ground.

Once they have an organization established, they will turn their focus to a shelter and employing humane investigators, which she sees as one of the largest problems.

For example, the shelter in Demopolis is the only one of its kind Marengo, Greene, Choctaw or Sumter counties, even though Alabama law requires each county to have a shelter and humane investigator.

On average, Carpenter said, her 20-dog capacity shelter space is full with more than 20 dogs. Currently, they have no way to keep cats or other animals the shelter may get calls on.

Another Alabama law, effective in 2006, requires all animals in shelters must be spayed or neutered, both which cost money. Currently, Carpenter has access to funds from the Humane Society that helps to pay for such procedures but she hopes to secure more funds to assist with these costs as well.

Most of the animals that end up in the shelter are with the help of Tommy McClain, who has worked with the city for 27 years. Carpenter said McClain&8217;s job requires him to be on-call 24 hours a day for case calls.

Unfortunately, not all of the animals people call in about or bring in can be accommodated. One case in particular is with horses, for which the shelter does not have accommodations.

If you would like to learn more about how to help with this effort, contact Lucille Carpenter at 289-2143 after 7 p.m. or at 289-3879.