Clark County commissioners will permanently move its dog shelter to a nonprofit organization’s building next year after purchasing it for about $25,000.
County Commissioners agreed this week to purchase the former Humane Society Serving Clark County building at 5201 Urbana Road for $24,200.
The Humane Society owned the building but it sits on land owned by Clark County, Clark County Commissioner Rick Lohnes said. The land was leased for about $1 per year while the shelter was operational.
The Clark County Dog Shelter is currently located at 3673 Middle Urbana Road. The county signed a lease to move into the building earlier this year.
“We’ll be able to fix it up and move in before the current lease is up,” Lohnes said. “We’re happy to get it back but it needs some work. We can get started and save some money on leases on other buildings.”
The renovations of the former Humane Society building will make the facilities much better for the animals and employees, he said. It will also allow dogs more room to exercise, Lohnes said.
“It won’t be so labor intensive to care for (the dogs),” Dog Warden Sandi Click said.
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.
State law mandates the county pick up stray dogs. In previous years, Clark County paid the Humane Society 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 picked 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 new Clark County Dog Shelter only accepts dogs. The wardens typically dropped off about 20 dogs per week to the Humane Society.
Earlier this year, a post on the Humane Society’s Facebook page said it no longer has any dogs available for adoption. Leaders also told the Springfield News-Sun the Humane Society wasn’t closing but had a contingency plan in place in case it did close. The society’s website, clarkhumane.org, was no longer available as of Friday morning.
Board President Michael DeCourcy couldn’t be reached for comment this week.
The dog shelter is expected to generate about $469,000 in dog license and other fees and spend about $556,000 next year, according to Clark County’s preliminary budget. They’ll use a $87,000 carryover from this year to break even, the budget says.
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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.