News 5 Investigates

Oct 22, 2013 12:35 AM by Andy Koen

News 5 Investigates: Shelter finances questioned at council meeting

CANON CITY - Animal lovers and former shelter volunteers in Canon City want the city council to stop spending money with the Humane Society of Fremont County. They expressed their concerns during the public comment period of the budget discussion Monday night.

Earlier in the day, the shelter submitted a proposal to renew their $30,000 a year contract with the city for animal control services. However, Canon City Mayor Tony Greer indicated the council is in no rush to sign that agreement.

"I've been tasked with looking at surrounding communities and finding a secondary resource so that we can cost compare," Greer said.

As News 5 Investigates has previously reported, the Humane Society failed three consecutive inspections this year for violating standards set by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, which licenses animal shelters. The most recent violation was for improperly filed paperwork.

The Fremont County Sheriff's Office also opened an investigating over claims of animal cruelty and theft of donations at the shelter.

The Humane Society of Fremont County is a non-profit organization. As such, their annual tax reports are public documents.

At the council meeting, local veterinarian Doctor Roy Million voiced concerns about how much money the Humane Society spends on administration as compared to the 6 to 7 percent he said other shelters in the state spend.

"Whether they're making $25,000 or $14.7 million a year, that percentage is about the same. You get here, they're making 40 percent!"

The council isn't expected to a make a decision on the contract until sometime in December. In the meantime, Million said he mailed a letter detailing his concerns about the shelter's finances to the Colorado Attorney General.

No one at the meeting spoke in favor of the Humane Society or refuted the new claims made against them.

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