Nacogdoches encourages local support of animal shelter

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - You've probably heard of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Now there's another organization. It's called the Humane Society for Shelter Pets (HSSP).   The two agencies aren't getting along. Caught in the middle are local animal shelters and humane societies.

The Nacogdoches Animal Shelter has a hunch about the questions they receive from people wanting to donate to national animal welfare groups.

"I do think they feel they are supporting the local humane society when, in fact, they aren't," said Jamie Shelton, Nacogdoches Animal Services director.

The newly launched national group, Humane Society for Shelter Pets is using the perceived confusion to encourage people to donate to local shelters instead of the Humane Society of the United States.

"The money needs to be given to the localities, not to national organizations that are sometimes using that money for purposes a little bit different from what people think," said HSSP co-founder Jeff Douglas on the group's web site.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the HSUS, said in news articles he's certain that agribusiness concerns are behind the campaign. Some in the agriculture industry are critical of the humane society for its undercover investigations in the food industry where animals are of concern.

The Nacogdoches shelter hasn't heard from the new group, but agrees local donations are always needed for food, veterinarian care and the spay and neuter program. However, the Nacogdoches Animal Shelter can never totally dismiss the Humane Society of the United States for one very important reason.

"In 2006 while we were contending with the ongoing aftermath of Hurricane Rita they did come in, on our request, while we were sheltering about 1200 animals," said Shelton. HSUS took over the time consuming and costly operation by consolidating all sheltering efforts in Lufkin. Then a $25,000 grant from HSUS came in the mail. "We didn't ask for it. And it was quite a surprise too," added Shelton.

And it's no surprise to Shelton the national humane organization hasn't donated since. Shelton sees good in both agencies. Animal welfare lobbying efforts have their place. So does support for local shelters. It's up to the donor to decide how they want their contribution used. On a positive note.

On a positive note, The Nacogdoches Animal Shelter is still crunching numbers, but early indications show adoptions were significantly up this year compared to 2010. Also more animals are getting spayed and neuetered thanks to the new program for qualifying adoptions.

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