Boyle’s $2,500 for humane society is money well spent

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, July 16, 2019


The Advocate-Messenger

The Boyle County Fiscal Court made the right decision last week when it voted to give the local humane society $2,500.

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That $2,500 contribution allows the humane society to receiving a matching amount — another $2,500 from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. The $5,000 will be used to help cover the costs of spaying and neutering animals.

We understand the concerns brought up at the fiscal court meeting about approving expenditures that do not appear in the budget. It’s not a good habit to get into if you want your budget to mean something. But there are also really good reasons the fiscal court and other government agencies are allowed to alter their budgets.

Unexpected things can happen. Plans can change. New opportunities can present themselves. If governments set their budgets every July 1 and then couldn’t deviate from them for the next 12 months, unexpected problems could turn into unmitigated disasters; unseen opportunities would pass by and be lost.

We don’t elect our government officials to shut off the spigot of taxpayer funds and guard against anyone ever turning it on; we elect them to control the spigot judiciously, allowing taxpayer funds to flow when useful and turning off that flow when it would just be wasted.

The humane society’s grant opportunity is a perfect example of the right time to turn on the spigot. The $2,500 required is fairly tiny compared to the millions of dollars the county manages every year. It’s well within the county’s means, and it’s also not just an expense of $2,500 — it brings another $2,500 into Boyle County that wouldn’t be available otherwise.

Anytime you can spend $1 and get something worth $2, that’s a deal worth looking at. You shouldn’t dismiss it without consideration just because you weren’t planning to spend $1 today.

And the $2,500 that turns into $5,000 also has the potential to save Boyle County money in the long run. More spayed and neutered pets means fewer pets reproducing, which means fewer unwanted animals. Fewer unwanted animals means less work for the animal shelter and humane society, which translates to less cost for both the county, which pays the shelter’s utilities, and the local supporters who fund the humane society with their charitable dollars.

Given how unfixed animals can grow local populations exponentially, we won’t be surprised if $2,500 now winds up saving many times that amount within just a few years.

So spending the money makes sense purely from the perspective of “How do we get the most out of our money?” But it’s worth noting there are non-financial benefits to the community, as well, which should not be discounted.

Preventing unwanted animals contributes to overall quality of life, makes our neighborhoods look nicer and reflects the community’s values and morals.

Even if there were no matching funds, even if you took the big-picture financial savings off the table, you’d be left with county government spending a modest amount on a community organization, in order to make Boyle County a better, happier place. That’s a win in our book.