City of Jackson takes over Humane Society


The City of Jackson Animal Care Center is at 23 Pinnacle Drive. (Photo: Omer Yusuf / The Jackson Sun)

The taxpayers rescued the Humane Society again but this time its forever and with at new building and have secured funds meant to aid the population’s charitable  needs and moved it to the needs of animals. A great many will praise this move by the city, taking care forever the needs of those creatures that a portion of our population has discarded or lost without concern.

Does this mean that the city has dropped the standard pickup of loose animals and transfer them to Madison County Rabies and Animal Control for holding?

Will this mean the eventual end of the Humane Society since the motivation to contribute based on need will diminish?

Will the West Tennessee Health Care Foundation be able to withstand the lost revenue; $150,000.00 annually through perpetuity would drop their reserve by almost 10% in 10 years?

And what future does the Mayor have for the animals now under his care? What will he do that the Humane Society has not accomplished in years other than continue to seek financial support from surrounding government entities?

Of course there is without a doubt, no deep questions from the Jackson Sun.

The Jackson-Madison County Humane Society’s future has hung in the balance over the past few years because of funding.

The City of Jackson recently took control of the Jackson-Madison County Humane Society’s building on Pinnacle Drive, renaming it the City of Jackson Animal Care Center, and, more importantly, solving the funding issue it has faced for so long.

“It was obvious to everyone involved that the Humane Society wasn’t sustainable long term,” Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist said. “I’m convinced that we are a people judged by the care of our animals, and the only option left was to try and get it sustainable by a collaboration between the Humane Society, all the rescue groups and the city.”

Gist said the city plans for the animal center to remain at Pinnacle Drive until enough funding is obtained to build a new animal care center and quarantine building at Conalco Drive.

The City of Jackson has set aside $240,000 for the new animal care facilities, and the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation will contribute $150,000 per year toward the animal care center.

Those funds will go toward care and medical needs for the animals, Gist said.

Gist said the animal care center will be a no-kill center and the city does not intend to keep the animals at the center for long.

“We have no wish long term to maintain any animal in the animal care center,” he said. “The ultimate goal is to get them in the hands of people who will take care of them and nurture them.”

The JMC Humane Society will remain a nonprofit and continue to raise funds for the center, hosting fundraisers such as the annual Fur Ball.

Humane Society Board President Lynn Caldwell said the city has done its part and now the community must do theirs.

“I think it’s wonderful for the community and the animals,” Caldwell said. “It has been a lengthy process, but good things come to those who wait. I hope the community gets behind the city and supports them. I’m sure it’s going to be a learning process for them (City of Jackson). Everything is not going to come together the first week or the first month.”

Gist said the city will keep the operations hours set by the Humane Society for now, which are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Reach them at (731) 422-5366.

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