Volunteers clash with commissioner over humane society

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 5:58 PM EST
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ELKINS, W.Va (WDTV) - A Randolph County Commissioner’s comments have stirred up some controversy regarding the local humane society.

Commissioner Chris Siler recently proposed redistributing funding from the private non-profit Randolph County Humane Society to a county-run facility.

The commissioner came under fire from the community with some saying this new model would create a kill shelter.

Siler says that’s not the case.

“It’ll be a no kill shelter there’s, rumors going around that it’ll be some kind of kill shelter, but a kill shelter has never even been considered,” said Siler.

However the humane society says the quality of care they currently provide is higher than what the county could offer.

Its president, Tina Vial referenced a dog they recently removed a tumor from.

“That animal would not have a chance in that kind of county-run animal control facility and we do we take care of medical issues like that,” said Vial.

Siler says in the past, county dog wardens have brought animals to the shelter that have been turned away due to issues like crowding and sickness.

Siler says last year the commission gave the humane society $80,000. He says that money accounted for 25% of the shelters funding, but dog wardens brought in 35% of the shelters intake.

Siler says a new facility would be more effective.

“Funding will drop of course if we have our own shelter, but it will not completely go away,” said Siler. “If you do the math we’re taking away more animals than funding so it shouldn’t hurt them in the long run and I think it will just be better overall for the whole county.”

But Vial disagrees. She says the shelter has worked well with the commission for decades and was shocked when she heard they might be moving funding to a new facility.

“There’s a lot this animal shelter can do with the additional funding it will cost to run this other facility,” said Vial. “It’s tax dollars that our community is going to need to pay and we’ll have two facilites doing the same thing.

Vial says she’s hoping the humane society can continue to work with the county commission.