The Claiborne Animal Shelter Board met on Thursday, March 6 under the organization's new name. Board members deleted the word "county" from to title to emphasize its independence from the Claiborne County Commission. In housekeeping type items the board determined that the fiscal year would be concurrent with the calendar year. A tax accountant is preparing an application for 501c3 tax-exempt status for the group. Upon approval, donations to the shelter would become a tax deduction for the donor.
Chairs of various committees made their reports. Susan Woodson reported meeting with area veterinarians and expects support in various forms from most of them. Mike Barrett has been reviewing floor plans from various regional shelters and said the layout of the Blount County Animal Shelter appears to be a potential model for this county. He also reported that details are still being worked out for the purchase of real estate for the shelter. Cindy DeBusk said she is looking closely at the reading dog program and believes it could be a welcome adjunct to the shelter efforts. DeBusk is also gathering information about the KIND (Kids in Natures Defense) program currently written into school curriculums. Board members recently visited the Young-Williams Animal Center in Knoxville. A positive relationship resulted and our shelter will receive some training and materials from Young-Williams.
Members determined that an executive board would be composed of the two co-chairs and the treasurer. The executive board will be developing proposed by-laws and a proposed business plan.
Board members approved the following Mission Statement: "To serve our community by sheltering animals in a humane environment, promote pet adoptions, and reduce pet overpopulation through spay/neutering, and education." Also approved was a statement of vision: "A safer, healthier community through responsible pet ownership."
Leadership Claiborne will sponsor a fundraising walk-run at the C.W. Gose Park in New Tazewell on April 19. The event has been named "Paws for a cause." The entry fee is $15 in advance or $20 at the gate. Vendors will also be on hand. Proceeds go toward the shelter.
The next meeting is scheduled for April 3 at 4 p.m. in the Habitat for Humanity Bunkhouse. The public is welcome to attend.
Ed Baldwin is a staff writer for the Claiborne Progress. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.