published Friday, January 31st, 2014

SPCA of Bradley County starts membership push

  • photo
    Bradley County Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones
    Photo by Paul Leach /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Bradley County has launched a membership campaign to support the animal shelter operations it will assume on behalf of the county this spring.

The new shelter will be on Johnson Boulevard in county facilities now being renovated, SPCA officials said.

"Those joining the SPCA before March 1, 2014, will be recognized as charter members and will have their memberships recognized as part of a permanent display inside the new animal shelter," Beth Foster, the organization's communication director, said in a news release.

Charter members also will participate in the new shelter's ribbon-cutting event in early March, she said.

Donors who give $500 or more in 2014 will be recognized as SPCA founders, Foster said.

Levels of support range from $10 annual "Puppy Paws" child memberships to "SPCA Guardian Angel" memberships for donors who give $1,000 or more a year.

Other categories of giving include the permanent naming of the shelter for a $50,000 donation. The dog care center and the small animal center may be named permanently in recognition for $25,000 and $20,000 donations, respectively.

SPCA of Bradley County leadership has undergone a few recent changes, including the addition of Bradley County Commissioners Charlotte Peak-Jones and Mark Hall to the organization's board of directors. With Peak-Jones and Hall, the board now has seven members.

"I've been involved with this process from the beginning and want to see it through," Peak-Jones has said. She was chairwoman of an ad hoc committee in charge of seeking a private sector option for Bradley County's animal control needs.

Jack Burke, an eight-year veteran of Bradley County law enforcement, recently joined the board to replace Amanda Morgan, who resigned for health reasons, according to Foster.

"We are excited to have Jack as part of our board of directors," said Betti Gravelle, president of the SPCA board, in a statement. "Most of us know him from his volunteer work with animals, especially hounds, coming out of the pound."

Burke's law enforcement background will help inform board decisions on animal control issues, Gravelle said.

In January, Bradley County entered into a two-year contract with the organization to provide humane rescue and sheltering of animals for $80,000 per year. As part of that agreement, the county will reimburse up to $40,000 in renovation expenses to repurpose the Johnson Boulevard facilities.

This agreement replaces the county's longstanding contract for animal control services through the Cleveland Animal Shelter.

That agreement came to a standstill last summer when the Bradley County Commission and the Cleveland City Council failed to reach agreement on the county's portion of the shelter's proposed 2013-14 budget, which exceeded $600,000.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Contact him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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