Budget Cuts Threaten Lea Co. Humane Society

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

HOBBS - A 50-year-old Lea County non-profit may be forced to shut its doors. That's after workers say a more than $20,000 budget shortfall leaves dozens of animals in jeopardy.

"It's not about us. It's really not," Humane Society President Justin Dreyer told NewsWest 9 on Wednesday. "We're here solely for the animals behind this and the people that care about them."

Every year, workers and volunteers at the Lea County Humane Society save dozens of dogs and cats by finding them quality homes. This year, however, Dreyer said a recession and not enough funding from the county have cut their budget by more than $25,000.

"Where our money comes in, and what we use it for is to pay our only two employees, but we pay them to clean the kennels, facilitate our internet adoptions and adoption counselors. Food for the animals, Vet care, we try to do as much in house to keep that dollar stretched as much as it will go."

Dreyer said even with run down facilities, this past year, they've been able to save over 300 pets. They've also worked to implement several programs like spaying and neutering despite the lack of a big budget. Rolling back their programs isn't something Dreyer wants to do.

Dreyer said he knows the new, nearly three million dollar city animal shelter inside Hobbs city limits can help reduce the number of stray dogs and cats. However, he hopes the citizens of Hobbs and Lea County will think about the Humane Society, that's been working to help animals for 50 years.

Members of the Humane Society told NewsWest 9, they understand tough economic times have made it hard on everybody's budget, including Lea County's. However, they're asking for any help so they won't leave their animals in jeopardy.

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