This is to respond to some of the things being said regarding the Yancey County Humane Society. Yes, I still am calling it Yancey COUNTY Humane Society, but I have no qualm that the name is shortened to Yancey Humane Society. It is much better than “shelter” or “pound”. If it is called Yancey Humane Society, and had The Tarver Foundation contributions been accepted, it would be more fitting, as more animals could be helped.
First, I have been in the facility many times and have always been well treated. Every time I have been there, the facility has been clean, no odors, with well kept holding areas for potential adoptees, one of the finest, cleanest shelters I have ever visited.
I respect and admire the devoted employees who clean up after God’s beloved, yet homeless, creatures, the staff that performs the tasks of clean up and feeding. This is quite a job for minimum wage, requiring someone be in attendance there 365 days per year. It takes someone who truly loves animals to perform these duties.
I am expressing my appreciation for the laborers who work their scheduled hours on a daily basis. I have spoken with Tim Tipton on numerous occasions and he has always been pleasant to me. My problem is with conflicting statements he has made.
Tim told me personally that there were no paid positions other than the shelter employees and himself, the Executive Director. Recently, an assistant to the Executive Director was hired. The person filling that position is none other than Tim’s wife. It is my understanding that Tim was recently granted a raise and is now earning approximately $38,000 per year, and his wife’s earnings are approximately $20,000 per year, both of these on salary. Every institution needs a leader, and the leader often needs an assistant. Working on salary as a leader can be understood, as there are often meetings and special events that require more time. However, most of us are aware that salaried workers often work fewer hours overall than hourly workers. Did any of the laborers receive a raise? Where did the money come from for this new position?
I understand that the bell was a donation from an artist, Rita Tata. I have worked with many artists and most of them are animal lovers, so it is no surprise that this artist was generous with her time, cost, and talent to install this for YCHS. But where did the money for the 60” flat panel TV screen come from? Who donated that? Why have statements been made that the TV was for educational purposes, when it has actually been referred to by staff as “the babysitter” for the Tipton children after school?
What were the criteria for the Petsmart grant? This information has not been released, and it was quite shocking to Petsmart that a needed donation was refused. I don’t expect they shall ever offer again.
It was stated in an editorial that The Tarver Foundation would not have a veterinarian on staff at all times to perform spays and neuters and in house care. No veterinarian, or any other worker, is available at all times. That is why all workplaces use a schedule. Dr. Tarver performs his services at no fee whatsoever and does not have any monetary motive for his contributions. The salary for an assistant to Dr. Tarver, in the event he didn’t bring his own, could have been covered by the salary of the assistant to the executive director. So why not proceed with a center to do this necessary work? If you build it, they will come. Or, is there an agenda that we are unaware of that keeps YCHS driving into Asheville every month to have the work done at The Humane Alliance? Could it be having students practicing spaying and neutering of our animals provides some unknown financial benefit to YCHS? I don’t expect Dr. Tarver to offer his services any longer, which will probably cause an increase in price for the low cost rabies vaccinations.
As far as Tim’s statement that no owners of cats or dogs over 40 pounds had not had to pay for spaying and neutering in over three years, this is absolutely not true. I paid full price to have two cats fixed less than two years ago, got the paperwork to prove it. I had them scheduled to take the van to Asheville at the proper time and age but was called the week prior and told that there weren’t enough passengers to make the trip that month, they would put me on the list for the next month. When my babies were finally fixed, I was scolded because the female was beginning her first heat. I had her scheduled, I didn’t change the schedule, so don’t scold me. I’m grateful that she was taken just in time before she was impregnated.
If a large breed dog has reached over 40 pounds, it still needs to be fixed, albeit probably a bit later than it should. What about the small breed dogs that will never reach 40 pounds? This policy exempts them from any low cost spaying or neutering.
I know persons on both sides of the Flea Fiasco. Witnesses (plural) tell the same story regarding the breaking of rules and the escalation of tempers that resulted in the police being called. YCHS told the volunteers to run it in the best manner they agreed upon, then employees of the shelter wanted to break the agreement. Many of these volunteers will not be back next year. The Flea took in over $50,000 last year and was expected to hit $60,000 this year, but did not, due partially to the fact that YCHS created a situation that caused the folks who put this event together to walk away.
I write this with respect to all parties involved and also to say that not everything being put out by YCHS is true, having personally experienced some of these situations as a taxpaying resident of Yancey County.
Thank you for the opportunity to give my opinion.
Concerning the letters and statements made against Yancey Humane Society, Jane Mummert and Tim Tipton printed in the Times Journal Newspaper, we assure members, donors and anyone with concerns the letters in question are filled with falsehoods and misinformation. We want to ask all of you to question the intent of these letters. Please share this post to help us get the truth out.
You only need ask yourself, why would we do the things stated in these letters? We wouldn't. Many of the complaints are just not true and others are misleadingly presented in a way to draw the reader to a "certain" conclusion. These allegations do not represent the good stewardship displayed by the board of directors of YHS and its management. We feel these issues must be addressed as our image and our ability to raise the funds necessary to help homeless and unwanted pets in Yancey County has been negatively impacted.
Statements about using donated funds to pay for frivolous items are false, and statements saying we arrogantly turned down $70,000 to build a surgery suite are false.
1. No shelter funds were used to purchase Flat Panel TV's, the memorial bell, benches or the memorial park. The TV's were paid for by restricted grant funds approved by the granter for that purpose. The memorial park and the remembrance bell were completely paid for by funds specifically donated for those purposes by private donors. The bell was only possible because its creator, artist Raven Tata donated her time and talents with the donor covering the cost of materials.
2. The surgical suite was given full consideration by the board of directors. The Tarver Foundation was willing to provide some money to help build the surgical suite itself but would not provide any funding for the ongoing annual expenses that would have been incurred by its creation. We did not meet the criteria to qualify for the Petsmart grant. The “in-house” surgeries would have been more expensive due to the required salaries, medical equipment, medicines and other overhead costs associated with doing the surgeries at the shelter. YHS had and has an existing spay/neuter program with the Humane Alliance of WNC that covers this service. We also have grants that pay for most public pets to be spayed/neutered for free or very low cost. Therefore, we could not in good faith accept the Tarver Foundation funds.
We invite anyone with concerns to drop by the shelter to find out the facts for themselves. Take a tour of the shelter, meet our adorable pets and see for yourself all the wonderful programs and services we offer our community. The shelter is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Fridays from noon - 5pm and Saturdays from noon - 4pm. The shelter telephone number is 682-9510 and is only answered during business hours.
Tim Tipton, Executive Director and Yancey Humane Society Board of Directors