Press release October 11, 2012- We are moving!by Caruthersville Humane Society on 10/12/12
Contact: Mindi Rice
Caruthersville Humane Society
Public Information Officer
Office (573) 333-0100 Mobile (573) 724-7677
CARUTHERSVILLE HUMANE SOCIETY TO MOVE TO CITY OF HAYTI
is found as City of Caruthersville issues notice to vacate
(October 11, 2012) — The
Caruthersville Humane Society has settled on a new location and is in the
process of remodeling and preparing to move its operation to the city of Hayti.
Plans are underway to quickly ready the building for
operation. The non-profit group has only a matter of weeks now that the City of
Caruthersville rescinded their initial deadline of December 9.
The Society was previously told they had until December 9 to
be moved out of the Cupples factory building, where the group has been housed
since the city forced them to relocate from the old shelter location in June, a
facility the Humane Society helped raise money to build and make improvements
to over the years.
The Society was served a notice to vacate signed by Mayor
Diane Sayre and dated October 2, by city manager, Terry Rushing on Friday,
In the months since the forced relocation, the Humane Society has been able to only operate on a limited basis because of constraints placed on them by the city.
"We were surprised that they went back on their word again,” said Mindi Rice, Public Information Officer. “But, we are doing our best to get our operation moved and up and running by November 5. Our timeline has been changed by the city once again, yet we will continue to do what we have always done and that is to do our best to meet the needs of the animals in our care.”
The group complained to city officials in March about animal neglect and abuse by a former city employee. The following month Rushing ordered the group to stop taking in animals and forced the Society to close temporarily. After being relocated to the Cupples factory building, the group has been able to operate, but on a very limited basis.
The official letter from city attorney, Lawrence Dorrough,
dated June 9th, expressed the city’s desire to terminate the 20-plus
year relationship between the two parties and gave the Humane Society until
December 9th to relocate.
“Since receiving the letter, we have tried to negotiate several times with the city only to receive no response or a negative response,” said Karol Wilcox, Humane Society President. “We offered to contract our services for animal control and adoption since the city has stated they are becoming a pound only, with no veterinary protocol. We did not receive a positive response on our proposal.”
The City of Caruthersville also seized a camera during the initial days of the closure in which the Humane Society had placed on its animals to help discover the cause of suspicious deaths. That camera has still not been returned, nor has its contents been viewed by the Humane Society.
Media reports said the camera was not in law enforcement
hands and its whereabouts are not known.
“We have been trying to serve the citizens and animals the best we can since all this started,” said Rice. “In the end, our hope is that we can grow the shelter and serve a broader community once we are up and running. We have already voted to change our shelter status to no-kill, we are working on setting up a fostering network, animal-education opportunities are being discussed…but overall, we are mostly excited about being able to serve all of Pemiscot County. It is a negative that we are choosing to turn into a positive.”
The moves by the city have cost the Society much-needed funds
in operational expenses during the previous months.
According to Wilcox, the group has been operating at a great
disadvantage because of the situation they were forced into, but have continued
to help people care for their animals and help lost animals find their way
The Society has received great support from the community and hopes to continue that relationship as community support is crucial to the success of the shelter.
“Last year, we housed 614 animals for people who evacuated
the City of Caruthersville when flood waters threatened to invade the town.
This service was provided at no cost to the city,” said Wilcox. “Even with the
limitations we have been operating under, we have been helping citizens with
low cost spay and neuters, a few adoptions and continuing to help reunite
owners with their lost pets.”
“We are grateful to the city officials and citizens of Hayti for providing us with a location and welcoming us with open arms. We look forward to meeting and working with everyone to make the Humane Society a success once again,” said Rice. “We will still continue to help the citizens in Caruthersville as we have always have; we just won’t be located here any longer. Our current situation is about to come to a close and it’s time to get back to what is important, the business of helping animals.”
As renovation begins, the group will be posting wish list
items on their Facebook page
and in the media for anyone interested in donating time, materials or services.
If you would like to
help, contact Karol Wilcox at (573) 359-5802. Those wishing to make a monetary donation can mail them to Caruthersville Humane Society, P.O. Box 345,
Caruthersville, and MO 63830 or securely online via PayPal at www.caruthersvillehs.com. All
donations are tax-deductible.
Caruthersville Humane Society is located in Caruthersville, Mo. The Society was founded in 1979 and is a 501(C) not-for-profit organization dedicated to animal welfare. The Society works to find loving homes for abandoned, neglected and abused animals and works with local law enforcement on animal cruelty investigations for successful prosecution. More information can be found at www.caruthersvillehs.com or www.facebook.com/caruthersvillehs.
Public Information Officer
Caruthersville Humane Society
P.O. Box 345
Caruthersville, Mo. 63830