Budget cuts could hit Hutchinson Animal Shelter

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KAKE) -

The City of Hutchinson is considering a number of budget cuts, which could impact the Hutchinson Animal Shelter.

"I found a cat named Sugar and she's really nice, so I spent some time visiting her," said Wesley Calvert, who was at the shelter Thursday, looking for a companion.

The shelter hopes for more stories like Calvert's: animals being given a second chance.

But budget cuts could change that.

"I don't want to speculate what that's going to look like for us," said Lieutenant John Taylor.

Lt. Taylor oversees the shelter, and he hopes the budget cuts won't mean the shelter has to euthanize more animals before they have a chance to find new homes.

"You could look at staffing changes, you could look at hours of operation, modification, things of that nature. We're going to have to have more direction from the city," Taylor added.

Summer is an especially busy time of the year for the shelter.

Right now, it's home to dozens of dogs and cats.

"In the summer, we can take in 30 to 40 animals a day," said Stacey Cleaves, Animal Services Director.

And it isn't cheap, especially when the animals need medical treatment.

If the budget is cut, it's possible some of the worst cases would have to be put down.

"I think it's definitely a possibility, because if we don't have the resources to put into them, then we have to choose more to put down," Cleaves said.

It's something the shelter doesn't like doing and in fact has made improvements on.

But if the shelter is forced to make cuts, Cleaves admits that could change.

"It's definitely the hardest part, and the decision-making behind it," said Cleaves.