ACARF pleads for support from county

Allen County Commissioners heard budgetary proposals Tuesday morning from the conservation district, Allen County Animal Rescue Facility, and the Sheriff's Office.



June 12, 2024 - 2:15 PM

Dawn Murray, ACARF board president, speaks to commissioners about the organization’s budget proposal Tuesday morning. Register file photo

Week two of budget proposals continued for Allen County Commissioners on Tuesday morning. The commission heard from department leaders of the conservation district, Allen County Animal Rescue Facility (ACARF), and the Sheriff’s Office as they made their case for funding.

Dawn Murray, ACARF board president, said the animal shelter’s situation is dire.

“We find ourselves in the unfortunate situation of experiencing a shortfall most months,” she told commissioners. “We do what we can through fundraising, donations, and keeping costs as low as possible.”

Murray requested the commission support the organization “monthly, in any amount you can provide.”

Despite numerous requests, the county has never given ACARF money nor included it in its budget. ACARF, a no-kill shelter, opened its doors in 2010.

Murray explained that while ACARF applies for grants when possible, the funds have not been enough to cover operating costs.

Commissioner Bruce Symes asked Murray if the facility was able to add air-conditioning this year.

Murray said no. “The shortfalls are taking the money set back for it.”

Symes asked if the commission were to donate an amount each month, what avenues ACARF would utilize to stay open. Murray said they will continue to depend on grants and fundraisers.

ACARF treasurer Julie Payne told commissioners the county is their “last hope” for consistent funding.

“Fundraisers may bring in around $1,500 to $4,000, but they are one-time deals. They can’t be counted on. They help, but they will not solve the problem.”

Murray explained the services the organization provides, including annual microchip and nail clinics; supervised time with animals for area preschool and after-school programs; weekly nursing home visits with a cat or dog; an animal food pantry for Allen County residents who can’t afford pet food.

“We hope we have your support to add ACARF to the county budget,” said Murray.

Sheriff Bryan Murphy reported this year’s jail budget is about $5,000 less than last year’s $1,437,057 budget.

“I’m trying to keep a real good eye on that,” he said. He also noted there is more money in the jail board fund than he expected. The money in this particular account is collected by charging out-of-county inmates for room and board. A large portion of the financing for HVAC updates came from this particular fund last fall.