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Animal shelter says negotiations with city are improving

by Adam Shear

WACO - Several local animal lovers are worrying about what the future might bring for the Humane Society of Central Texas, but the shelter says they are starting to get optimistic.

Saturday afternoon the shelter held their annual Wine and Food Fundraiser in downtown Waco, near the Brazos River. Hundreds of Central Texans attended the event and enjoyed a wide variety of foods and wines from across the state.

However, the local concern for the shelter is not about the amount of support they receive. Many people are worried about the City of Waco's announcement that they would be taking over operations at the Humane Society in the near future.

Many animal lovers believe the city plans to only offer pets 72 hours of shelter before they would face euthanasia. There is also a fear that the city would close the doors of the shelter for adoptions and would restrict the Humane Society to finding outside fosters and rescues for the animals.

"I think the unknown [about the city's plans], don't take it and run with it," said Humane Society of Central Texas Interim Director Don Bland. "[Some of the people who are concerned] are painting this picture that is the worst possible scenario. Well that's not going to happen."

Despite what has been circulating through the local rumor mill, the interim director says that negotiations with the city are starting to look better for the homeless animals.

"We're trying to work on something that is win-win for the animals," said Bland. "I feel very strongly that we're headed in the right direction."

Shelter volunteers were also at the fundraiser to help with adoptions. Something they say they have been working extra hard at since the city announced their plans to takeover.

"Dogs and cats that are coming in [the shelter] cannot wait until [the city and the Humane Society] have hashed out their problems," said Daniela Ranzinger, Humane Society Volunteer. "[The animals] need to be re-homed now. They need to find that home now."

Most people at Saturday's even felt it was more of a time to celebrate what the Humane Society is doing now, and not the time to worry about what the future may or may not bring.

"Today everybody is out enjoying themselves," said Bland. "I've got a lot of people thanking us for what we're going to continue to do and continue to try and take care of the animals and do what we need to do. [People at the fundraiser] are very supportive of us."

Waco City Officials have still not officially announced when they plan to take over operations at the Humane Society.

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