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Animal shelter losing food supply

By Jebb Johnston

jjohnston@dailycorinthian.com

While struggling with a failing building, the Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter is facing the loss of a major source of pet food.

Shelter board member Scott Monroe told the Corinth Board of Aldermen that a weekly donation of 1,800 pounds of dog food from Sunshine Mills, a pet food manufacturer, has ended.

"That translates into $3,000 worth of dog food a month they've been donating that has gone away because they've changed their sampling and testing process and they no longer are slitting bags and taping those bags up and giving them to us," he said. "They now take their samples off the line. Somehow, we've got to start covering $3,000 worth of dog food a month."

The shelter operates on about $18,000 monthly from the city, county and donations, and those funds are stretched to the limit.

The Board of Aldermen heard from shelter board members during the agenda workshop meeting on Tuesday.

Director Charlotte Doehner told the board she hopes they will support the concept for the shelter's future facility, which is planned to include a clinic, community center, animal control and an adoption center. The idea is to generate operating funds and emphasize education to address the problem with pet overpopulation.

"We know we're going to need a new facility, but it's not going to be enough just to put us back to where we started, and that's a shelter where everybody dumps all their animals," said Doehner. "It needs to be something that's going to solve the problem."

It is believed that more than 40,000 animals were killed from 1995 to 2010 prior to the no-kill policy.

"Euthanizing them does not solve pet overpopulation problems," she said. "It just enables people to continue their bad behavior."

The shelter currently has an adoption rate of 70 percent of the animals taken in. In the last operating year, the shelter took in 1,267 animals. Of those, 26 percent were adopted; 55 percent were transferred to other rescue organizations; 10 percent were returned to their owners; and 9 percent died or were euthanized because they were vicious or too sick to offer for adoption.

All of the animals up for adoption can be viewed online and people can apply to adopt online. Applications are coming from all over the country, said Doehner.