This blog,originally founded by Blogger, who is listed in Marquis Who's Who and is a recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. He holds a theological degree and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Taught Psychology for 32 years and is now Professor Emeritus. Is a board-certified psychologist and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in his profession. Ministered as a chaplain, and pastored Baptist and Episcopal churches. Publications cover the integration of psychology and theology. Served in the Army, the Merchant Marines and the Peace Corps.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Muffin, Non-profits, Tax Money and the Watauga Humane Society

"Muffin B. Bassett" (the B is for Biscuit)
This is Muffin. She's around 4 1/2 or 5 years old and currently is staying at her temporary home at the Watauga Humane Society!. She didn't choose to go there. It isn't that she made bad choices in life, didn't "drop out" or fall in with bad company, run off with a shady character or anything like that. She is
just (as the Delbert McClinton song says), a "Victim of Life's Circumstances.".

 I've met Muffin a few times and can vouch for her character and personality. She's kinda laid back, not particulary interested in wasting a lot of energy running around up and down hills, etc but seems to be more of a "thinker"'; more the contemplative type who would just as soon lay in the grass and observe nature and the world around her. She likes to play, she likes to just hang out with friends and she likes to have her ears scratched and she will listen to you for hours! Even if YOU talk about Democrats and Republicans!

We didn't talk politics, Muffin and I......but I think she's probably an Independent judging from her general attitude about things. At any rate, she's a little bummed about the financial discussions going on between the Watauga County Humane Society and the county government. She inidcated that she would prefer to just move in with someone new and avoid all the financial and political discussions  going on around her!. If you can help her find a place where she can make a few new friends who want to lay around and discuss philosophy with her, give her a call at the Humane Society - 828-264-7865.

NOTE: If you can give this sweet girl a home, I will pay half her adoption fee. I will try to get to the Humane Society today and leave a check toward her adoption....If not today, I will Thursday for sure. You will be glad to have Muffin in your life!

Please read more on next page....

The Humane Society is housed in a wonderful new building off of old 421....a great facility with a great staff of paid and volunteer employees who have the best interest of the animals at heart. I have met several of the staff and the volunteers there and am quite impressed with the care and love their residents receive! The Humane society is funded primarily through contributions but they also have a contract with Watauga county for housing, care and feeding of the animals that Watauga County Animal Control used to care for. This is a contract worked out several years ago by the previous board of the Humane Society and the previous board of County Commissioners. As I understand it, both County Animal Control and the Humane Society were in substandard facilities at the time and an agreement was reached for the county to loan the Humane Society $400,000.00 toward the construction of the new facility. (The loan does not have to be repaid unless the HS sells the property, defaults on their contract, etc)...

 Additionally, based on the county's history as to the average number of animals typically cared for each year in the Animal Control pound, the county would pay the Humane Society $75,000. 00 per year and the Humane society would take over the responsibility for the housing, care and feeding of the animals.

I think it important to distinguish here that this is somewhat different from most of the other situations where the county is allocating funds to non profit organizations. In this case, there is a specific county service which, in most other places, is funded by the taxpayers and provided by county employees in county controlled facilities. In Watauga, the Humane society provides the service under contract with the county.

Now here is the problem as I understand it. The Humane society is saying that they underestimated both the number of animals they would be handling under their contract and also the cost of care for the individual animals. They would like the county to increase the annual payment significantly - up to $225,000.00 - triple the previously agreed upon price.

The county position seems to be that "a deal is a deal"....while they leave open the possibility that they will entertain the Humane Society request along with those of the other non profits when they begin the budget process for next year - it appears to me that the county is expecting the Humane Society to make greater efforts to economize rather than to turn to the taxpayers for more help.

I can appreciate the positions of both the county - and the Humane society. The county had the option of euthanizing the animals when the population increased beyond their capacity to house them; the Humane Society is unlikely to "economize" in that manner!

I don't know what the outcome will be.....and I truly have mixed emotions - on the one hand I am not usually in favor of the county deciding which non profits are worthwhile and deserving of taxpayer funding. On the other hand, here is a great non profit organization doing great work but who probably under priced the service they contracted to provide the county and may not have the ability to cut costs to the level needed.

In the meantime, your tax deductible contributions will certainly help! Send your check in any amount please! To... Watauga Humane Society
P.O. Box 1835
Boone, NC 28607



NewGuy said...

OK...I did make it to the H. Society today and left a check for half the adopton. Hopefully someone can give this great dog a forever home!

Johnny Rico said...

A friend once said something that made a lot of sense to me. He said that dogs are God's way of showing us that he loves us. How true my friend was.

Dogs are truly unique creatures full of nothing but optimism. They are in a good mood EVERY time they greet you. They are ok EVERY time you want to spend time with them. They NEVER ignore you, bully you, or have spiteful feelings towards you. Their optimism is so special and endearing that I will never be without one of the creatures.

My favorite dogs are varmit dogs. Dogs that are used to run coons, possums, bobcats, mountian lions, bears and such. These types of hounds shouldn't be confused with bloodhounds or basset hounds. A varmit dog is long legged, muscular, and medium eared and can run for 2 days if necessary. They are also about as friendly a breed as exists despite their ferocity against said varmits.

My absolute favorite breed is the NC state dog - the Plott hound, although Redbones, Black and Tans, Redticks, Catahoulas, Mountain curs, and Blueticks are pretty darn good also. Watauga County has some famous houndsmen both alive and dead and I often wonder why the liberal history professors at ASU seem to ignore this unique subculture within a culture.

Rural Appalachia is where hunting dogs in America were born. The Plott family, Cable Family, Coffey Family and many others developed breeds that exist nowhere else on planet.

New Guy - it was an amazing act of kindness that you did today at the Humane Society. Hopefully that innocent creature will have a good life being optomistic.

NewGuy said...

Hardly amazing, Johnny....but thank you for saying so. I have had a few chances to visit with Muffin and she has such a terrific personality that I can't believe she is still there!

We visited her yesterday when we dropped off the check - she seemed a little down; the humane society is pretty full and Muffin prefers a little more peace and quiet ....she likes to sit around and thing about things like the meaning of life, the sound of one hand clapping, etc - but it can be a little distracting when all the other dogs are talking politics!

Muffin is going to bring a lot of joy to the lucky people that adopt her! And, she doesn't seem to be a "high maintenance" kind of girl!

Anonymous said...

I too love animals, but I am having a hard time swalling the amount of money increase the Humane Society is asking for. I would think those in charge would have known by taking over animal controls animals they would have quite the increase, after all isnt that why the large facility was built? Also lets remember our tax dollars are still paying for an Animal Control budget. When I lived in another state the Society there was always having a constant fund raiser. Very seldom do I see the big fund raisers here. Maybe 2 a year. How can the County give monies like that to 1 non profit, but not to others? My understsnding is this is only 6 months into the agreement. I am sorry but I would have to say no, expecially to that large of an amount.

Reader said...

New Guy, I noticed that the Watauga Humane Society has entered the Rachel Ray contest and I've been voting daily. You know, if everyone in our county voted just once, they could possibly win the grand prize. I wish the media in our area would pick up these things and keep in on their website until it's over. You have to register your email address, then daily voting is up to you.

Here is the website.

NewGuy said...

Thanks Reader...I signed up and voted today.

We have a great animal shelter here in Watauga - and I would like to see them be able to continue to provide good temporary homes and succesful adoptions for the hundreds of animals they care for each year!

I strongly encourage everyone to take a minute to register with the voting site (above) and to cast their votes for Watauga Humane Society every day...


Thanks Reader!