To the Editor:

I love animals. Pretty much never met a cat or dog I did not like in my 70 years. However, there needs to be some reality checking of the amount of funding that Pittsylvania County has put in the new Pet Center.

Let’s start with some facts: Original contract with Lynchburg Humane Society was for an annual amount of $260,000 for 12 months with a 1.5% increase at the end of that term. The county agreed to pay all utilities (water,sewer,trash, maintenance, lawn care, etc.) and did so to the amount of $88,185.56 for the first 12 months which was July 1, 2017 thru July 1, 2018. On top of that they added $9,000 in landscaping. We are now up to $357,185.56 for the first year. Seems pricey to me.

Then we go into the new contract year beginning July 1, 2018, and instead of the 1.5% increase that was originally agreed to in the contract, The county saw fit to give them a 100% increase. You read that right. The county paid the Lynchburg Humane Society $260,000 for a 6 month contract, and assuming the utilities remain the same that would add an additional $44,092.78 for utilities. Making an effective rate of pay for SIX months $304,092.78.

We are now at a whopping (to me) $661,278.34 for 18 months for an outside contractor to operate OUR Pet Center. Folks that is over A HALF-MILLION DOLLARS .

What will happen Dec. 31, when the contract expires? Will the county continue to put their hand into the working folks pocket for this money? Will the county ignore the needs of it’s citizens and instead pay Lynchburg Humane Society more and more money to operate what the county should be operating itself?

By the way why isn’t the county operating it’s own shelter? It is my understanding from talking with the state vet office that of the 126 districts in the state only 12 of them do not operate their own shelter. So.... why are you and I paying an outside provider to operate OUR Pet Center?

Last week the Lynchburg Humane Society said they were “running in the black now”... well if you gave me a 100% increase in my Social Security I would be in the black too!

Like I said, I love animals, however, paying over half million dollars in 18 months?. It is time the county administration knows how we feel. It is time they know that this amount of expenditure is not what we the citizens of this county want or can afford.

Let the county run it’s own shelter. Stop paying an outside provider and sending our money to Lynchburg.

Folks are going hungry, and winter is coming, we do not need to continue in this SPEND SPEND SPEND of citizens money.

The county advertises itself as “People Friendly and Business Savy”... well, I don’t see taking more and more of my money as very friendly, and it does not seem to be very business savy either. Mr. Smitherman, our county administrator told me “the county cannot afford to run it’s own shelter”. I say to that, we cannot afford not to run our own shelter. This insane spending of taxpayer’s money needs to stop now.

Let your board of supervisors know how you feel.

Jordan Kee

Chatham, Va.

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