The animal shelter said it was trying to make ends meet after missing support from counties it believed it was entitled to.
MONTROSE, Pa. — Inside the True Friends Animal Welfare Center, you’ll find 78 animals.
Volunteers say they don’t usually get enough to eat, with 50 to 60 animals.
Workers said they were working to keep shelters open.
“Really, we currently don’t have enough manpower and space to accommodate more animals,” said Melanie Harvey, manager of the True Friends AWC shelter.
True Friends Awc board vice president Amy Uggiano said she and another board member are at the shelter every day.
They didn’t receive a cent from the shelter or even took out money from their own savings account to pay their bills.
“There’s nothing we can do about trying to worry about the animals, where they’re going, how we’re going to feed them, pay the vet bills, pay the staff, recruit volunteers,” Ugino said.
For two years, the shelter received $50,000 in grants from the county.
Workers said they thought it was an annual gift written in the county code, but they were wrong.
“We were shocked, really disappointed, and frankly, we were terrified of this sanctuary,” Ugiano said.
The county commissioner said that while county regulations allow the county to fund animal control, it is not required each year.
“We gave them $50,000 two years in a row. We told them at the time that it wasn’t going to be an annual event,” said Susquehanna County Commissioner Elizabeth Arnold.
Arnold said it was not in this year’s budget.
“We just built a new security building and we have other things to do,” she said.
Commissioners questioned how the shelter has been operating recently.
“I don’t know what they’re doing with fundraising right now. It’s like I haven’t seen it on Facebook and ads,” Arnold said.
Amy Uggiano says it’s not that simple.
“We don’t have any help. As a board member, I walk my dog in the rain almost every day, and in the heat of COVID, how much can we do with the current economic situation and the lack of staff and volunteers,” she said.
For now, the shelter is relying on emergency savings, True Friends staff said.
To donate to the shelter, click here.
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