Turnaround could be in works for Erwin animal shelter - WFLA News Channel 8

Turnaround could be in works for Erwin animal shelter

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A huge turnaround could be in the works for the Town of Erwin.

One month after telling Unicoi County they would stop funding the county animal shelter, they may be having a change of heart.

Wednesday we told you about several community concerns regarding the new Erwin Animal Shelter.

Town leaders decided to reopen it Monday night, but several viewers contacted us with concerns that the building did not have running water or power.

Since the beginning of 2013, when Erwin Mayor Doris Hensley came to office, the Unicoi County Animal Shelter's budget has been a source of conversation. Shelter officials wanted $23,000.

Hensley tells News Channel 11, "we essentially had the dog pound that we had before and we felt that with $4,000-$5,000 we could bring it back up to standard."

Town officials said the Erwin Animal Shelter has no heat or air conditioning and has seven kennels.

"Dogs confined in a building that small, just the size, is inhumane," said John Edwards, of Erwin.

Erwin officials thought by separating from the Town of Unicoi and Unicoi County they could save money.

"Fiscal responsibility is the wisest use of the funds that your tax payers provide you," said Edwards.

It wasn't just the $23,0000. Mayor Hensley said they were given a lot of stipulations by the county animal shelter too. "The towns resources are our concern, and the taxpayers are our concern so when you put all of that together I think there has to be a better solution then what we were practicing on before," said Hensley.

Edwards said taking $23,000 from the county animal shelter could be detrimental. "Taking the money away from a proven program and restarting a very inadequate program is not wise use of that money."

The official decision could be made Friday morning when mayors of Unicoi, Erwin and Unicoi County meet to discuss the shelter. News channel 11 will be there, and we'll tell you what they decide as soon as it happens.

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