True Friends Animal Welfare Center is looking for donations


The animal shelter says it is trying to stay afloat after missing the county support it thought it was entitled to.

MONTROSE, PA — Inside True Friends Animal Welfare Center you will find 78 animals.

Volunteers say they are normally not full and have 50-60 animals.

Workers say they are struggling to keep the shelter open.

“Really, we don’t have the capacity like the staff and the space to accommodate more animals right now,” said Melanie Harvey, manager of the True Friends AWC shelter.

True Friends Awc Board Vice Chair Amy Uggiano says she and another board member are at the shelter every day.

They don’t get a penny from the shelter and even withdraw money from their own savings accounts to meet the bills.

“It’s ruining your life trying to worry about the animals, where they’re going to go, how we’re going to feed them, pay the vet bills, pay the staff, bring in volunteers, who we can’t help,” , said Ugginao.

For two years, the shelter received a $50,000 grant from the county.

Workers say they thought it was an annual donation written in county code, but they were wrong.

“We were shocked, really disappointed and quite frankly scared for this shelter,” Uggiano said.

County commissioners say that although the county code allows the county to donate money for animal control, it is not required year after year.

“We offered them $50,000 two years in a row. We told them at the time that it was not going to be an annual event,” Susquehanna County Commissioner Elizabeth Arnold said.

Arnold says it wasn’t in the budget this year.

“We just built a new security building, and we have other things going on,” she said.

Commissioners have questioned how the shelter has been run recently.

“I don’t know what they’re doing for fundraising now. Like I haven’t seen anything on Facebook and advertising,” Arnold said.

Amy Uggiano says it’s not that simple.

“We don’t have any help. I’m here as a board member almost every day walking dogs in the rain, in the heat with COVID, and with the economy as it is and the lack of staff and volunteers, how much can we do,” she said.

True Friends workers say that, for now, the shelter is relying on emergency savings.

To donate to the shelter, CLICK HERE.

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