Cedar Creek Lake

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Cedar Creek Lake area humane society animal shelters face uncertain futures


David Webb is a veteran journalist who has written for the mainstream and alternative media for three decades. He is now a freelancer who lives in the Cedar Creek Lake area.

The Henderson County Commissioners Court announced Sept. 12, 2017, that the county must be prepared to take over the operation of the Henderson County Humane Society animal shelter at year’s end.

The announcement came as the court prepared to approve a $36 million budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. County Judge Richard Sanders recommended $200,000 be added to the budget as a contingency for funding the shelter. The budget already included $62,000 designated to the shelter, which the county has always subsided.

The anticipated change in the operation followed the receipt of a letter from the Humane Society’s board of directors to the court.

The letter said, “After long and careful consideration, it has been determined by the Henderson County Humane Society governing body that as of Dec. 31, 2017, we will no longer be sheltering and euthanizing animals for the City of Athens and Henderson County. After 29 years of service to the citizens of this city and county, we are weary of the burden we currently carry. We did not begin the operation of our shelter to simply adopt out homeless animals. Adoption was a bonus. Our goal was to give shelter to homeless, damaged and unwanted cats and dogs.”

Sanders said that he hoped the City of Athens would help to county fund the operation.

The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake has also suffered setbacks in recent years with changes in leadership and financial struggles. Kaufman County, which the group’s shelter serviced in addition to Henderson County, has made plans to construct and operate its own shelter at some point.

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