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Humane Society risks shutting down with rising vet bills

Source: KSWO Source: KSWO

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - The Lawton Humane Society says they may have to shut their operation down because of rising veterinary bills. The organization owes $4,000 for the animals' medical treatment and they say the number is growing. To help offset the cost, they've raised their adoption fee from $100 to $125. But, some of the animals they take in require extensive medical care that is not covered by the adoption fee, and it has put them into debt.

Since last year, the organization has been taking in animals from local shelters that were in danger of being put down. They've slowly realized the more animals they took in, the higher the vet bills got. So instead of taking fewer animals they are asking people in Comanche County for donations.

"I mean we just need help, period,” said the Lawton Humane Society Vice President Donna Campos-Barahona.

Campos-Barahona says they will not turn animals away even if they cost more than they can handle.

"I realize we can't save them all, but we are going to do our best to try to save everyone we can," said Campos-Barahona.

Animal Foster Coordinator Tonya Bond said the costs come from animals they've taken from the shelter but also strays volunteers have brought in.

"I mean we got two dogs that come in with broken legs that have to have surgery,” said Bond. “So all that's adds up whether it's from the shelter or the community. It's all adding up on us."

To continue to take in the animals with the large medical bills, the organization is asking for more donations. If they don't, they fear they will have to close the organization for good.

"I think we are at that point where we need the community's help,” said Bond. “We've tried to sustain this ourselves, and it's not quite working."

Because of these outstanding bills they haven't been able to offer programs to pet owners in need like helping them get their pet spayed or neutered, or buying dog or cat food when the owner can't afford it.

"The community is helping but we just need a little more help,” said Bond. “We're just kind of at that point if we want to survive and to continue to help the community, we need help."

The Lawton Humane Society says they will continue to take in the animals, and pay off the medical bills as long as they can.

But if you want to donate, send in your donation to:
Humane Society of Lawton-Comanche County
P.O. Box 3134
Lawton, OK 73502

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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