Budget Shortfall Could Take a Bite Out of the Beaver County Humane Society

Aliquippa, PA January 18, 2017 - Executive Director Susan Salyards said the Beaver County Humane Society is facing a revenue shortfall with its 2017 budget. “The large deficit is created primarily because our $50,000 County grant was cut. Last year, the Beaver County Commissioners cut our grant to $13,000 -- a 75 percent decrease – and this year they reduced us to zero, which could mean less help for animals in need.”

"This will be the first time since 1987 that our organization has not received a generous grant from Beaver County, and it is going to be challenging," Salyards said. “Our Board and I understand that the County had limited options as they developed their yearly budget. It's not just organizations like BCHS. We understand that the County had to make significant cuts to other worthy nonprofits and across its own administration," Salyards said. “The challenge is when you have priorities and constrained resources, you’re forced to make tough decisions.”

"Unless shortfalls are made up, this could possibly result in cutting vital services such as curtailing cruelty investigations. BCHS employs, trains and equips the only professional Humane Society Police Officer for Beaver County. It is unfortunate, but we receive more than 400 reports of neglected or abused animals that are investigated each year, and that number is growing. Other cuts could include limiting our hours of operation, increasing fees for services, cutting the low cost rabies and microchipping clinics, curtailing the free pet food bank for needy families, and not being able to provide low-cost Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) services for stray and feral cats, as examples of what could happen."

BCHS's budget is $1.7 million for the 2017 calendar year and currently employs 11 full-time and 23 part-time positions between its Center Township shelter and Thrift Store in Beaver Falls. BCHS took in or provided services for more than 4,000 animals in 2016 illustrating the tremendous need for animal services. The shelter strives to be a community resource for pets and people and is dedicated to enhancing the welfare of all companion animals. Since moving into its new shelter on Brodhead Road in Center

Township in 2013, BCHS has increased its adoptions by 110%. In 2015, a record 1,972 animals were adopted, and 1,791 were adopted in 2016.

Salyards said BCHS already relies on donations and volunteers, but this revenue shortfall will make the group need the community's support even more. “We depend entirely on philanthropic support to care for the animals and run our programs. I get a lot of calls from local citizens who tell me that they support the Humane Society of the United States® (HSUS), or think that we are a County agency, for example. Much to their surprise, BCHS receives no financial operating support from donations made to any national animal welfare organization nor are we directly funded through local, state, or federal tax dollars.”

“We also are always in need of more volunteers both at our shelter and our Thrift Store in Beaver Falls, and we are always looking for people to foster animals or adopt from us." Salyards said. Despite the possible damaging budget shortfall, I can assure you that we will continue to do our part to care and find homes for the animals. But for that to happen, we do need the community’s help.”

The shelter hopes to encourage people to make monthly donations, and is launching a new fundraising campaign, which will incorporate a new “Buy a Brick” opportunity to help generate immediate revenue. For those interested in contributing to the BCHS, donations may be made online by clicking the button below or by mail to the shelter at 3394 Brodhead Road, Aliquippa, PA 15001.

Since 1950 the Beaver County Humane Society has been committed to helping animals in the Beaver County Area. More than sixty-five years later, more than 4,000 animals receive comfort and care each year.