Harvey Joins Humane Society - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Harvey Joins Humane Society

Even though it bears the county name, the Humane Society of Wichita County is not regulated by county commissioners. 
But under Texas law, Wichita County is required to have some kind of representation within the Humane Society. 
"We received an email, and somebody said hey, we need somebody to serve, who would like to do that? And I went that would be me," County Commissioner Lee Harvey said.
The Humane Society had told Newschannel 6 the position was previously held by County Judge Woody Gossom. 
Although he has volunteered for the organization, Judge Gossom told me that he has never represented the HSWC on an advisory board or in any official capacity. 
The Humane Society has come under harsh criticism in recent months. There have been pleas from the community to be allowed to know where and when the Humane Society's Board of Directors meet. Also, multiple organizations have cut ties with the non-profit.
"I'm interested in seeing what's going on, there's been some news, and I'm kind of curious to get down into the meat of that and see what's really going on," Harvey said. "Whatever it is, we're going to fix it."
However, there's still a lot of uncertainty as to how much influence the advisory board will have. 
"It certainly may suggest things to them, and there are some things they're required to do, and this advisory board is to look for their accountability to do that," Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said. 
But Gossom says those requirements are minimal, and are things the Humane Society is doing right now. 
"While those of us that contribute, support, and help may have opinions, that is a separate non-profit organization, it has its own incorporated board that governs it," Gossom said. 
Executive Director of the Wichita County Humane Society Cheryl Miller later confirmed that Gossom has not held that position.  
One of the standards for animal shelters that the advisory committee would help enforce says the Texas Board of Health may require an animal shelter to keep and maintain records of animals in its custody, and to make those records available for inspection at reasonable times.
Miller said that the advisory committee will meet a minimum of three times a year, in accordance with Texas law. She hopes to have the first meeting within the next month.

Dave Caulfield, Newschannel 6

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