City has not increased its contribution in over two decades.

Elise Blue, president of the Northeast Missouri Humane Society, is asking the city of Hannibal to increase its contribution to the local animal shelter's operation from $75,000 to $175,000.

Blue's formal request came during Tuesday night's meeting of the Hannibal City Council at city hall. She said Hannibal's last funding increase to the local branch of the humane society occurred in the late 1990s when the city upped its annual contribution from $50,000 to $75,000.

An assortment of fundraisers and donations from the public help offset the cost of food for the cats and dogs, plus medical treatment for animals brought to the shelter. Blue said that between $30,000 and $40,000 is spent annually on veterinarian bills. The animal shelter's yearly operating budget ranges from $150,000 to $200,000, Blue said.

The humane society does not have to pay for electricity or water, because the shelter operates out of a city-owned building at Warren Barrett Drive. That will change in the coming months when a new shelter is constructed on recently-purchased property located near the intersection of Paris Gravel Road and Veterans Road.

While the humane society recently accepted animals seized by the Marion County Sheriff's Department while investigating a hoarding complaint, Blue said 95 percent of the animals brought to the shelter by the public or the Hannibal Police Department's community service officers are from the city.

"We need each other," Blue said.

Councilman Colin Welch expressed support for the humane society of Northeast Missouri, telling Blue that he would "love to give you as much money as you want."

Mayor James Hark said Blue's request will be taken under consideration as the city "plans for the future" as it drafts a budget for fiscal year 2019-20.



danny.henley@courierpost.com