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Commissioners urged to take another look at animal shelter budget

To the Editor:
The Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter provides a valuable service to our community. There are an extraordinary number of dogs and cats running loose in this county that are at risk of disease and inhumane conditions, while putting our citizens at risk for health and safety. These animals need food, shelter, veterinary care and companionship. Our shelter provides a bridge between homeless animals and people wanting to share their lives with these animals.  
I believe the commissioners have failed to realize the impact the Carter County Animal Shelter has on the abandoned and stray animals in our community. We have commissioners making important decisions about the shelter’s funding, while failing to visit the facilities that provide such a needed service. It’s not like the shelter isn’t located in the same town as our courthouse. It’s high time the board visits the shelter! Take stock and realize the benefits of working with the shelter and provide the budget that it takes to take care of our stray animal population. They need to look into providing a space where animals can be spayed/neutered, while reducing and managing the sizeable population of stray animals in our community.  
As an example, there is a home in our neighborhood with over 20 stray cats. I have been catching the adult cats and taking them to the shelter for spaying and neutering. But I can’t keep up. No sooner do I release the neutered cats back into the community, I find another pregnant cat. I am doing everything I can to take care of the problem, but I just can’t catch the cats fast enough. We need a full paid Animal Control position.  
The commissioners have recently given a 5013C group money to take care of stray cats and dogs in Elizabethton. Have any of the commissioners driven by the location of this 5013C? Whoever runs the facility, they are hoarders, and the animals live in deplorable conditions. How does that help?  
Support the Carter County Animal Shelter. Get a full-time Animal Control person on the books, so our police department can do the job they are supposed to do, rather than trying to catch stray animals in our community.  

Brenda Persinger