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Humane society says funding not enough

Changes proposed to county contract

POSTED: March 3, 2010 4:00 a.m.

Humane Society officials say Dawson County’s offer to split the cost of a required audit may not be enough to seal a proposed contract.


Instead, the society’s board has made a counterproposal, which the county commission will consider Thursday.


The current sticking point seems to be when additional funding to care for animals would kick in.


The commission voted Feb. 18 to help fund the audit and pay the humane society $150,000 to care for cats and dogs brought to the shelter by animal control officers in 2010.


The amount is about $30,000 less than the county paid the humane society in 2009 and equates to about $100 per animal.


According to the contract, the shelter would also receive up to $100 more for each additional animal over 450 dogs and cats brought in each quarter.


On Feb. 25, the society’s board returned the contract to the county with revisions that would trigger the additional money after the shelter had accepted 375 animals per quarter.


A recent e-mail from Humane Society President Candy Adams asked local animal lovers to fight for the animals and encourage county commissioners to accept the counteroffer.


Adams said $100 per animal is far below the $250 that it takes to get an animal ready for adoption.


“It is also below what other shelters, privately operated nonprofits, get from their county,” she wrote.


“Every penny is accounted for and stretched to the limit because we care, and want to help all of the animals not just a few.” 


Commissioner Mike Connor has said county officials need to recognize the shelter has certain fixed costs and can not handle the number of dogs with the amount of money agreed upon.


He also voted against the county requiring the humane society to have a financial audit.


The commission did not require an audit when it approved the shelter’s 2009 contract.


County officials say the shelter is no different than any other county-funded department or organization, whose budgets have been cut in the wake of economic woes.


Adams said the only issue the humane society has with the audit is trying to find a way to pay its part.


“Every dollar we spend on an audit could have been used for the animals,” she wrote.


The commission will discuss the contract at 6 p.m. Thursday during its regular meeting in the G.L. Pete Gilleland Chambers at the Dawsonville Municipal Complex.


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