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Noah’s Ark to end Sanger shelter contract

Profile image for By John D. Harden / Staff Writer
By John D. Harden / Staff Writer

Organization says it will not accept animals from city after Oct. 20

Noah’s Ark Animal Shelter officials have decided to end their contract with the city of Sanger after negative comments surfaced about their euthanasia rates by Sanger officials and residents, Noah’s Ark officials said.

Animal shelter officials said they will no longer accept animals from Sanger after Oct. 20. As provided in the contact, Noah’s Ark officials submitted a letter 30 days prior to the end date.

Shelly Gomulak, veterinarian and Noah’s Ark president, said the shelter’s board of directors believes it’s in the shelter’s best interest to terminate the contract to prevent risking future funding.

She said without funding, the shelter would not be able to operate and treat sick and adoptable animals.

The Sanger City Council is expected to meet Monday and Mayor Thomas Muir said there’s a high probability the council will pursue a contract with the All-American Dogs animal shelter.

Sanger officials met during a workshop meeting Sept. 4 to discuss possibly leaving Noah’s Ark, after residents criticized Noah’s Ark’s adoption and euthanasia rates. Bob Matthews, All-American Dogs president, told council members his shelter has a 90 percent adoption rate.

According to Noah’s Ark records, officials found homes for 114 animals that were transferred from Sanger between Jan. 1 and Sept. 4. During that same time, the shelter also reported euthanizing 65, or 36 percent of the total number of animals, that it deemed aggressive, sick, untamed or severely disabled.

“We set the recent work session to hear from the gentleman at All-American Dogs,” Muir said. “We wanted to explore our other options to see if there was a way to increase our adoption rate.”

Noah’s Ark officials said they were unaware of the meeting and unaware Sanger officials were unsatisfied with their service, citing that the shelter was praised repeatedly.

Gomulak said critics only want to focus on the “unfortunate, but necessary” euthanasia numbers, which includes sick and dangerous animals. In the letter submitted to city officials, Gomulak said as a nonprofit organization, the shelter survives on private donations.

“We cannot allow the negative and false publicity to continue without risking our future funding,” she said.

The city paid Noah’s Ark $2,400 per month for up to 15 animals per month. The money funds the veterinary services needed to make the animals adoptable, shelter officials have said. The city also funded $40,000 in construction costs to double the shelter’s capacity for housing dogs.

All-American Dogs officials submitted two contract proposals to the council. One proposal requests Sanger to pay $2,400 a month and keep its city-owned shelter open. The second contract asks for the city to close its shelter and pay $3,400 a month and a one-time $21,000 expense that would allow All-American Dogs to expand its facility.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is .