Clark County commissioners have formally split with the Humane Society Serving Clark County, canceling its contract as of Aug. 31.
Clark County opened its own animal shelter on Sept. 1 after the local humane society said it wouldn’t be able to continue its contract to house stray and lost dogs for the county dog wardens.
“I’m glad that we’re officially taking action,” Clark County Commissioner Melanie Flax Wilt said.
State law mandates the county pick up stray dogs. In previous years, Clark County paid the Humane Society Serving Clark County more than $200,000 annually to serve as both the dog wardens and to shelter and care for stray and lost animals. The county now employs the dog wardens directly and had paid the humane society about $80,000 a year to house the dogs they pick up.
The humane society then sent a letter to county commissioners informing them they could no longer take dogs from the dog wardens starting Sept. 1.
The Clark County Dog Shelter is located at 3673 Middle Urbana Road and only accepts dogs. The new shelter has a six-month lease with an option to extend it.
The future of the Humane Society is unclear, Clark County Administrator Jenny Hutchinson said. The wardens typically dropped off about 20 dogs per week.
Board Vice President Michael DeCourcy hasn’t returned multiple calls seeking comment. No one answered the phone at the Humane Society’s office. Last week, a post on the Humane Society’s Facebook page says it no longer has any dogs available for adoption.
Last month, DeCourcy told the Springfield News-Sun the Humane Society wasn’t closing, but had a contingency plan in place in case it did close, he said.
The Humane Society owns the building at 5201 Urbana Road, but it sits on Clark County’s land, Clark County Commissioner Rick Lohnes said. The lease was about $1 per year while the facility was operational, he said.
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Staying with the story
The Springfield News-Sun has covered disputes between the Humane Society Serving Clark County and the Clark County commission for more than a year, including stories digging into changes to the dog wardens and the county’s contract with the Humane Society.