NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Some local animal advocates say the welfare of local shelter animals could be at stake if Mayor David Briley’s proposed budget is approved.
Mayor Briley is proposing a $2.33 billion budget, a $101.5 million overall increase over the current year. The budget includes $23.8 million for the Metro Health Department, which oversees Metro Animal Care and Control (MACC).
The amount budgeted for MACC is the same as last year despite the agency asking for funding for six additional employees to handle increasing demand. Animal advocates said this request shouldn’t be overlooked.
“If you like animals you want to see them taken care of,” said Hibah Qubain, who has operated the Dogs Deserve Better rescue group since 2013. “If you don’t like animals, you don’t want to see them running around on your streets.”
Qubain said the care of local animals should be a priority, and she feared if MACC wasn’t sufficiently funded then services would have to be cut.
“That means if a vicious dog is running around, they won’t be able to get it,” said Qubain.
During his State of Metro address this week, Mayor Briley did not directly address the funding for the Health Department. He did, however, say his four top priorities were education, public safety, economic prosperity, and quality of life.
“When we prosper as a city we can do more for the people who live here,” said Mayor Briley. “Prosperity gives us more resources to build a stronger Nashville.”
Qubain encouraged other animal advocates with concerns over the proposed budget to reach out to Mayor Briley’s office.
The Metro Council is required to vote on a final budget before July 1.
To review the entire proposed budget visit: https://www.nashville.gov/Portals/0/SiteContent/Finance/docs/OMB/FY20Budget/FY2020RecommendedBudgetOrdinance.pdf