ALTUS, Okla. – Abused or abandoned animals will not have any place to go in Altus by the end of the month. The Altus Animal Adoption Aid is shutting its doors after 8 years.
It is the only ‘no kill' adoption center in southwest Oklahoma and soon, there will be none at all.
Nearly 40 dogs fill the kennels at the adoption center. But now, owner Ernie Harper is shutting it down, and it hurt him so much to talk about it, he did not want to be on camera.
"[I am] disappointed to be honest. For the last seven years we've had really good backing from the city. City council has been really great to us," said Harper.
Altus Animal Aid had an agreement with the city in how to run the shelter. But on Aug. 23, when Harper met with the city council to discuss the contract and the current financial problems the shelter was facing, he says things turned sour.
"They had a couple people present there at the meeting that basically wanted to do an amendment to our contract that would put this board to oversee all of our operations," said Harper.
7News was not able to speak to Altus city officials today about why the adoption center would be shutting down. But Harper says the meeting was a personal attack, so he has given notice that he is quitting.
"We brought all our information to them, they gave advice. The board decided at this time...it be beneficial for us to go ahead and not enter that amended contract and go ahead and close our adoption center."
So now Harper is saying his goodbyes; to the city and to the dogs and cats housed at the shelter.
"Right now, we've got about 12 or 13 that will be leaving to other rescues this week. We've got about another 11 or 12 that have to get out of our adoption center into other rescues, because unfortunately we have no place to house them."
Harper says currently all the cats have other adoption agencies and homes to go to. It is the 11 dogs that he is worried about. He says they do not have any place to go to and may end up being put to sleep.
If you are interested in adopting any of these animals, go to www.altusanimalaid.org and click the link that says "available for adoption".