Clark County and the Humane Society Serving Clark County continue to negotiate and hope to have an $80,000 contract finalized this week to shelter dogs collected by the county dog warden, according to local leaders.
Clark County commissioners agreed Wednesday to rescind two contracts with the Humane Society, including housing the Clark County Dog Warden at the Humane Society’s office at 5201 Urbana Road. A new contract for housing stray pets is expected to be finalized this week, Clark County Administrator Jenny Hutchinson said.
MORE: Clark County sends lost dogs to Dayton shelter after contract dispute
At first it appeared lost pets would be sent to Dayton’s Animal Rescue Center at the beginning of this month because a deal had not been struck between the two agencies. However, the two have worked out a compromise and the pets are being sheltered in Clark County during negotiations, Hutchinson said earlier this week.
The talks have been ongoing between the two sides, Humane Society Executive Director Roger Ganley said, but he was unaware of any details. Board President Carol Dunlap told the Springfield News-Sun she hopes to hear back about a contract later this week.
The dog warden’s office is temporarily located at the Springview Government Center until a more permanent location can be found, Hutchinson said. The annual rent at the Humane Society was about $9,000 per year, Clark County Commissioner Rick Lohnes said.
The county used to pay the humane society more than $200,000 a year for both the dog wardens and to shelter and care for lost animals, but the offer significantly decreased in the latest rounds of negotiations.
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Both sides said the negotiations center around the county taking over the dog warden positions last summer. Because of the move, the county contends it should pay the shelter less because the shelter no longer has to pay those salaries.
Meanwhile, the Humane Society says that it still does a lot of work for the county and needs sufficient funds to stay in operation.
The county offered to pay about $80 per dog brought in by the dog warden, but the Humane Society was looking for a guaranteed amount per month, Lohnes said. The shelter averages about 10 dogs per week.
The county set aside $75,000 in its dog kennel fund for the contract but commissioners have agreed to pay about $80,000 annually.
“Once we sign that contract we’ll be solid for a year,” Lohnes said.
The Humane Society also wanted the county to pay $80 per dog dropped off by residents, but he said the county is legally not allowed to do that per the Ohio Revised Code.
“That was a sticking point, but we can’t violate that,” Lohnes said.
RELATED: Clark County home with 25 dogs investigated, owner says pets healthy
According to the Humane Society’s website, the shelter isn’t accepting owner-released animals and isn’t offering owner-requested euthanasia right now.
Green Twp. resident Robin Coy, who uses social media to rescue dogs in Clark County, spoke to commissioners about the shelter’s Good Samaritan clause, which allow deceased dogs found on the street to be cremated for free by the Humane Society. It recently stopped offering that service earlier this month, Coy said. She hopes it will come back with a new deal in place.
“It’s a real benefit to the community,” Coy said.
The Humane Society recently reduced its hours. New shelter hours are from noon to 7 p.m. Thursday, noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and closed the rest of the week some holidays.
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By the numbers
$80,000: Approximate amount of new contract money offered to the Humane Society serving Clark County.
$80: Amount county officials said they agreed to pay per dog to the humane society
10: Average amount of dogs taken to the Humane Society Serving Clark County a week.
The Springfield News-Sun digs into important stories about Clark County, including recent coverage of a rash of heroin overdoses and the first development in a new industrial park on Interstate 70.