VALPARAISO | Porter County Animal Shelter Director Jon Thomas will ask the County Council on Tuesday to free up an additional $18,800 to cover hourly pay through the end of the year.
Thomas is seeking $5,000 in new monies and to transfer the balance of the request from other areas of his budget.
He said the additional hourly money is needed, in part, because of the extra work required this year to deal with several animal hoarding situations. These various cases left shelter employees scrambling at times to deal with 49 guinea pigs, 73 rabbits and 105 dogs.
There has also been a drop in the number of volunteers at the shelter, which is located south of U.S. 30 on Ind. 2, Thomas said. This has occurred because the shelter is so much cleaner and operating so well that it appears more volunteers are not needed, he said.
There is a need for more volunteers to walk dogs, and interact with the cats and dogs to better their chances at finding homes. Volunteer applications are available on the shelter's website or by contacting the shelter.
The shelter has spent $109,657 on hourly pay through the start of last week, according to the county council office. This figure is up from $19,540 spent in all of 2011, $17,126 in 2010 and $21,101 in 2009.
There are currently 12 part-time employees paid $10 an hour, according to the council.
Porter County Councilwoman Laura Blaney, D-at-large, who will take over Jan. 1 as South District county commissioner, said she feels the request for $5,000 in additional money is reasonable considering the unexpected seizures of animals from hoarding situations.
"You can't budget for that stuff," she said.
The council will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the county administration center, 155 Indiana Ave. in Valparaiso.