FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFTA) — Community members are expressing concerns over the living conditions of the largest no-kill shelter in Arkansas.
545 animals are living at Hope Humane Society in Fort Smith each day and questions are being raised over what that looks like.
Community members, some of which are former employees, say the public outreach isn’t enough right now.
“Their quality of life in not good at this point. They are living in their feces, their urine,” Mary Scott, a former employee and volunteer said. “At this point I feel like there is a really big issue within our shelter that’s not being very transparently portrayed to the public right now.”
In the past, the non-profit has openly asked for help with funding and adoptions.
We decided to visit the shelter and see for ourselves.
Storm Nolan, Vice President of the Hope Humane Society Board, says help, especially financial help, is dire.
“We have a contract with the city where the city pays $19 for the first five days of the dog or cats stay. Their monthly check of about $20,000 each month is about one fifth of our budget,” Nolan said.
As we toured the facility, you can see animals in temporary kennels, basically where ever they can fit.
“Because the dogs and cats get walked three times a day, they’re going to make a mess in their kennels. It’s a constant struggle to keep all of cages and kennels clean,” Nolan said.
The no-kill shelter has never been more full, taking in 6 to 12 animals a day by animal control.
While the need to adopt, foster and volunteer is urgent, it also comes back to responsible ownership.
“Until we get to the point where our fellow community members are spaying and neutering their animals consistently, the water is going to keep filling the boat,” Nolan said.
And although a total of nine animals had to be euthenized last month, Nolan says its vets only recommended this for extreme cases.
“The dogs or cat has an illness that can’t be cured, or they are injured and suffering and better off euthanized than us trying to kep them alive.”
One anonymous community member says, “we’d like to see some adoption events, we’d like to see some fundraising events, we’d like to see a plea for volunteers who are all willing to step in and do some things.”
To donate to Hope Humane Society, click HERE.