The SPCA of Bradley County discussed everything from animal shelter renovations to fundraising at its first board meeting since it signed a contract with Bradley County government to provide animal control services to its residents.
Packing into a conference room at the Cleveland Bradley County Public Library Tuesday night, board members talked through how to get all the necessary work done to meet the organization’s March deadline.
On March 1, the SPCA will officially begin providing animal control to county residents. A current agreement between the county and the city of Cleveland has county residents utilizing the services of Cleveland Animal Control until March 12, which SPCA communications director Beth Foster said gave the organization “a bit of an overlap” to work with while it makes the transition.
The board, which includes two Bradley County commissioners in its ranks, discussed renovations to the county-owned building on Johnson Boulevard. Shelter director Johnathan Cooper said work is set to begin today on renovations to create kennel areas out of concrete block and install windows.
While there was talk of removing them, County Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones said garage doors installed in the building must stay in place “in case the county ever needs the building back.”
Cooper said while it would have been good to create solid walls for heating reasons, he acknowledged not doing so left more of the renovation budget intact. The SPCA’s contract with the county allowed for up to $40,000 in renovation costs, Peak-Jones said when another board member asked how much money was available for that purpose.
The board also spent time figuring how to bolster its fundraising efforts as it gets closer to taking over county animal control. As a chapter of the national organization Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the organization is able to raise funds and apply for grants.
Still, Cooper stressed the organization is currently able to fulfill its contractual obligation with the county with the money it already has.
“We can operate on the budget we have,” he said.
However, he said fundraising would provide it with more resources for the long term, and more funds would be needed if the organization wanted to “grow into something like the McKamey Animal Center” in Chattanooga.
The board discussed various fundraising ideas, from selling calendars to allowing people to become members of the organization in exchange for monthly donations. Foster said the organization was also planning to apply for grants from companies like Petco and the Build-A-Bear Workshop to help with certain shelter expenses.
After discussing fundraising efforts, the board tried to fill its treasurer position — to no avail. While the board elected Josh Serum as its secretary and asked that he assist with treasurer duties, there was no nomination for a permanent treasurer.
County Commissioner Mark Hall urged fellow board members to consider having an outside accounting firm oversee a monthly budget and create reports to be reviewed at monthly meetings “in the name of transparency” as its contract with the county gets closer to taking effect. The board approved the suggestion.
The board also voted to enter into a partnership with Dixie Day Spay to provide microchips to rescued animals. The partnership will have the SPCA entering a purchase agreement for at least 750 identification microchips to be implanted into animals when they are already in surgery to be spayed or neutered. Cooper said the goal would be to have 1,000 animals microchipped over the course of a year.
The SPCA of Bradley County’s board is set to meet at 7 p.m. in the library’s Carmichael Room on the third Tuesday of each month. Meetings are open to the public, and upcoming agendas are published on the organization’s website. For more information, visit www.spcaofbradleycountytn.org.