Clark County sends lost dogs to Dayton shelter after contract dispute

A contract dispute might mean owners of lost dogs in Clark County have to go to Dayton to retrieve them.

Clark County has worked out a deal with Dayton’s Animal Rescue Center, 67900 Webster St., to house and care for animals picked up by the Clark County dog warden, starting today. The Humane Society Serving Clark County previously took in the pets.

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Humane Society Board President Carol Dunlap and Clark County Administrator Jenny Hutchinson both said in interviews with the Springfield News-Sun that the contract dispute stems from changes that took place over the summer when the county took over the dog warden position.

Both said the county has offered to pay the humane society based on the number of dogs brought to the shelter by the warden, instead of a set quarterly payment like the county previously paid.

“The money that they offered just isn’t enough to keep this facility running with the staff that we need to have here,” Clark County Executive Director Roger Ganley said.

The county used to pay the humane society more than $200,000 a year to shelter and care for lost animals, she said, but the offer significantly decreased in the latest rounds of negotiations.

And while the county has taken over the dog warden duties, the humane society offers a lot of services to lost dogs in the county, Ganley said.

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“When a county warden brings in the dogs, their health was assessed,” Ganley said of the services the humane society offered. “A veterinary (check) for the health of the animal. We housed the animal, we gave it shots. The redemption fees for when the owners come get their dogs, our office people handled all administration and dealt with the customers.”

County officials believe now that they have taken over the dog warden position, the human society’s expenses have dropped, Hutchinson said, and therefore so should the county’s payments. She also said the humane society asked to be paid by dog at $80 each and the county was prepared to pay that amount but negotiations stalled.

“The contract we have for Montgomery County is less,” Hutchinson said.

The two sides are expected to meet today to further negotiate the contract and both said they’re hopeful they will be able to work out a deal.

“I am real positive,” Dunlap said. “I am going into this meeting tomorrow as a good faith meeting, that we hope that we can do what is right for the people of Clark County and the dogs. Our goals were for them to never be taken somewhere else.”

Hutchinson said Tuesday night that it’s expected that on Wednesday dogs that are captured in the county will be transferred to ARC in Dayton at least until a new contract is worked out with Clark County.

A statement released by the county Tuesday said officials are also looking for alternative solutions to house the nearly 10 dogs a week it captures here. The dog warden has moved out of the humane society and into the county’s Springview Government Center on East Main Street.

It also said that the county dog warden will work with owners who are unable to travel to the ARC in Dayton on a case-by-case basis.

Clark County dogs will be viewable on located on the ARC’s web page and labeled as Clark County dogs for easy identification. Clark County residents can purchase their 2017 dog tags at ARC or at the Clark County Auditor’s office.

Ganley also is optimistic that a new deal will be reached, but said in the meantime it will be hard on the animals to travel to Dayton.

“The bottom line is the animals are going to suffer,” he said.

By the numbers

$200,000: Approximate amount paid annually by Clark County to the Humane Society Serving Clark County previously before it took over dog warden duties.

$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.

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