Pet clinics

Lawrence Humane Society concerned about city’s proposed budget cut – The Lawrence Times

Share this post or save it for later

A city proposal to cut its share of Lawrence Humane Society funding by about 27% has raised concerns among the organization’s staff about how the cut could affect their ability to care for pets. local.

The proposal — part of a larger budget recommendation that also includes cuts in other areas — would cut $100,000 from the funding the city gives to the Humane Society each year. The Lawrence City Commission will consider the budget at its meeting on Tuesday.


Elina Alterman, director of development and communications for the Humane Society, described the proposed cuts as “distressing” and a “crushing blow”. The Humane Society has received $365,000 annually from the city since 2019.

The organization’s overall annual budget for 2020 was approximately $2.36 million, according to federal tax filings. It brought in nearly $3.2 million in revenue that year, including donations, grants, events, and adoption fees, as well as the city’s contribution, which made up about 11.2 percent. of its total income.

The Humane Society provides a wide range of pet-related assistance to Lawrence and the rest of Douglas County, including veterinary services, housing, animal adoption, and its Crisis Pet Retention program, which provides supplies and aims to help owners keep their animals rather than give them away in the event of financial difficulty.

The city’s budget proposal lists a reduction in animal control services. In 2018, the Humane Society reached an agreement with the city: the organization would house and care for all animals from animal control officers and the public, as well as staff available 24/7 to assist the city.

Photo added

Alterman said the Humane Society is concerned the proposed cut in city funding could force the organization to cut some services. “Reducing veterinary clinic equipment, daily operating supplies and staff would be detrimental to an organization that cares for more than 5,000 animals a year and an already overstretched staff whose jobs are both physically and emotionally draining,” she said.

“…The proposed reduction in city support for Lawrence Humane does not reflect a reduction in the need for services provided by Lawrence Humane,” she said. “This need has remained constant over the past seven years.”

The city wants to cut funding for the Humane Society, close the Prairie Park Nature Center, and eliminate two vacant positions to free up funds for other things, such as increasing funding for the city’s economic development program, the IT infrastructure, cybersecurity and an accountant position.

“As a result of these reductions, the City is able to recommend reallocating resources to other strategic priorities for 2023,” according to City Manager Craig Owens’ budget proposal, which shows total spending of about $436. $78 million.

Alterman encouraged residents to voice their opinions on the matter.

“A decision like this will impact our community in ways that we don’t believe Lawrence residents support or want, and we encourage community members to raise their voices,” she said.

The Lawrence City Commission will hold a joint meeting with the Douglas County Commission at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12 and begin its regular meeting at 5:45 p.m. See the full budget proposal at this link and the full meeting agenda at this link. Meetings are streamed live on the city’s YouTube channel and in person at Lawrence City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St.

The committee accepts public comments in writing – comments must be received by noon on the day of the meeting at [email protected] – and during in-person and virtual meetings. Register to join the Zoom meeting at this link.

The city is also accepting comments on the budget through a Lawrence Listens form. It is available on this link.

If our journalism matters to you, help us continue to do this work.

Support the Lawrence Times

Don’t miss a thing… Click here to sign up for our email newsletters

Cuyler Dunn (he/him), contributor to the Lawrence Times, is a student at the University of Kansas School of Journalism. He graduated from Lawrence High School where he was editor of the school newspaper, The Budget, and was named Kansas High School’s 2022 Journalist of the Year. Read more about this work for The Times here.

Latest news from Laurent:

Share this post or save it for later

Bridge improvement work along an approximately 9-mile stretch of K-10 between Eudora and K-7 is scheduled to begin Monday and continue through early December.

August Rudisell / The Lawrence Times

Share this post or save it for later

The Lawrence School Board will consider a third proposal on Monday to change tuition, which would add fees for students who qualify for discounted lunches; new meal prices; and some organizational updates.

Mackenzie Clark/Lawrence Times

Share this post or save it for later

At the end of the day, the driver who gets pulled over and the officer who pulls over want to get home safely. A Lawrence police lieutenant and a prosecutor shared some tips on how to proceed on Saturday, along with other rights you should know.

Jon Blumb / Contributing Photo

Share this post or save it for later

Community members, artists and authors are invited to gather Sunday morning to celebrate the Wakarusa Wetlands, an area deeply connected to Lawrence’s native history and home to a variety of wildlife and nature.