Muncie animal shelter seeks public support to fix building

Muncie Animal Care & Education Center. (WTHR)

MUNCIE (WTHR) —Muncie’s Animal Care and Control director said he inherited a budget and staffing problem that will take public support to fully fix.

“It is a must that needs to be addressed,” said Ethan Browning.

Among the issues: a leaking roof that needs to be replaced and a hand-full of part-time workers to handle as many as 500 cats and dogs a day.

A dog at the Muncie Animal Care & Education Center. (WTHR)

“They’re pushed to their limits and I’m forever grateful,” Browning said. He added it has not and will not be sustainable though.

The problem?

Browning said he's working with a 2019 budget because previous city leadership didn’t approve a new one. He claims that budget was too small anyway.

“We were budgeted $5,000 for building maintenance for the whole year,” he said. “And we’ve already spent that.”

Browning said the cost of a new roof will be $40,000. But he’s hopeful. He said the newly-elected mayor has identified $20,000 to help. They’re turning to the public to fund the rest.

“I’m really hoping they understand this is not just the shelter’s problem. While we treat these animals like they are our own, they are very much the community’s animals. We’re hoping to get the community more involved in what we do here and so they can take some ownership in these animals and the facility as well.”

Browning said anyone who would like to donate can send a check to the Muncie Animal Shelter or drop off a donation at 901 W Riggin Rd, Muncie, IN 47303.

A dog at the Muncie Animal Care & Education Center. (WTHR)

Browning said he’s also confident the new mayor and a willing city council will help find a long-term solution.

“It’s not something that won’t get resolved in the next couple weeks or months but I’m positive with this administration we’ll get there,” he said.

“I believe it's too early to say if there will be more money allocated to the animal shelter,” said Jeff Robinson, a city council member. “We just simply don't know, at this time, what our budgetary constraints will be. I'm certainly hopeful we can, or we can look at new and creative ways to shore up those budget shortfalls.”

Robinson added he wants “to do whatever we can to make sure they are getting the resources they need to adequately care for those animals.”

“I plan on having the finance committee look into the animal shelter director’s concerns of budget shortfalls,” said Brad Polk, another council member. “Obviously all budget shortfalls concern the council and we will do all we can to assist the shortfalls within our guidelines and power of our position.”

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