The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners will soon vote on whether to continue contract negotiations with the local Humane Society.

If the board declines, the county will then be solely responsible for operating its animal shelter, and Forsyth Humane Society (FHS) officials say that could lead to increased animal euthanasia.  

FHS took over management of the shelter back in 2018. Since then, they say Forsyth’s animal save rate has increased from 36% to 76%. 

But it’s been expensive, and increasingly so over the past year.

“We've seen a 20% increase in intake this year. We've seen the cost of medical services climbing, cost for food, litters, medical care, etc. All have continued to increase, which was why we made the tough decision as an organization to go back to revisit that contract," said Mark Neff, president of FHS.

The organization is now asking for $1.5M to fund its services at the shelter. That’s nearly three times the amount of their original contract, but FHS says it’s comparable to county funds received by Alamance and Buncombe animal welfare agencies. 

Neff says they've been able to manage under their current contract by filling in the gaps with donor and reserve funds. 

"I don't have the financial means or resources to be able to do that anymore," he says. "If we were to do that, our organization would risk its ability to perform any services. It could potentially end up not in business."

Neff says the main sticking point in their negotiations is funding for their medical program. 

The Board of Commissioners will meet on December 15 to decide whether to continue negotiations. If it declines, Humane Society officials say they are prepared to discontinue their services at the county shelter in March of 2023. 

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