Update: The Hawkins County Budget Committee approved the proposed $250,000 resolution with some amendments on Monday night.
The county has agreed to give the humane society $30,000 each year, however, the organization cannot put those funds toward the $250,000 in matching funds they will need to raise. The Hawkins County Humane Society has until Sept. 2024 to raise their matching $250,000.
HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Protesters say the Hawkins County Humane Society’s building is “dilapidated” and too small.
The humane society agrees.
“We need more space,” said Hawkins County Humane Society vet tech, Jackie Catterson. “We need isolation rooms. We need quarantine rooms. We need so much more to make it a better place for the animals in this county.”
The protesters gathered outside of the Hawkins County Government Office ahead of a county budget meeting, where the commissioners are voting on a resolution for money allocated to the humane society.
The humane society has been applying for ARPA funds, which are government COVID-19 relief funds.
They told News Channel 11 that they first applied for $800,000 and have been denied twice since.
County commissioner and budget committee chair Jason Roach is proposing a resolution of $250,000.
Catterson said this is not enough for a whole new facility, but can cover some needed additions.
“I think it will help some because even if we can raise say 200 thousand dollars and they give us 200 thousand, we can’t build a new building, but we can expand and put in our isolation rooms, our quarantine rooms,” said Catterson.
Commissioner Roach said the county has other areas that need attention that the ARPA money can provide.
“None of [the commissioners] are opposed to animals or animal care,” said Roach. “None of us want to see any living thing harmed or anything like that. We just have other projects. We have lots of things we have to go to.”
The budget committee votes on the resolution Monday night. It would pass by a majority vote.
The resolution would go into effect if it gets approved by the full commission, which meets next Monday.