The Wilson County Commission agreed to provide annual funding again to New Leash on Life during Monday’s meeting after the COVID-19 pandemic prevented officials from the Lebanon animal shelter from making a request earlier this year.
Wilson County Attorney Mike Jennings said the commission adopted a resolution in 2017 that allocated $50,000 to New Leash on Life annually for three years for spay and neuter services.
Jennings said the 2017 resolution also included an option for New Leash on Life to appear before the commission this year to seek the $50,000 allocation for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. However, Jennings said due the COVID-19 pandemic, counties were forced to send status quo budgets to the state comptroller’s office.
As a result, New Leash on Life was unable to make a presentation before the Wilson County Budget Commission, which required the allocation resolution to be addressed by the full commission.
The funding request was approved 20-5.
The resolution allocates $50,000 for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, and expresses intent to include the funding for New Leash on Life on an annual basis, unless changed by a future county commission resolution.
New Leash on Life Director Angela Chapman estimated the center spays or neuters about 4,000 animals every year and the number is expected to grow as the county’s population increases.
“We’ve seen a decline in animals going into Animal Control,” Chapman said. “Cats are what we keep hearing about as a major concern, so we’ve shifted our focus. We certainly still fix dogs, but we definitely fix more cats with this fund than we do with dogs.”