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Humane society agrees to deal

POSTED: March 17, 2010 4:00 a.m.

Just weeks after the local humane society rejected a contract with the Dawson County commission, the group agreed last week to move forward with the deal.


“We signed the contract, but we’re still in negotiations with the county to try to find a happy medium that’s better for them and better for us,” said Kay Harris, director.


Candy Adams, president of the Dawson County Humane Society, said the two groups are working to reach a lengthy agreement, rather than negotiating every year.


“It’s more like a long-term understanding that depends on the economy, so we know ahead of time if there’s going to be the possibility of cuts,” Adams said. “That way we can raise the amount of money we need for the shelter.”


Commission Chair Mike Berg said he thinks the commission must revisit contracts on an annual basis.


“We can’t bind another board to our contract decision,” he said. “I’d like for us to do something quickly, so we can get on to other matters.”


The parties have spent several months in talks over how much the county will pay the humane society to take in critters picked up by animal control.


Two weeks ago, shelter board members returned an altered contract to the commission saying they were being asked to take in more animals for less money.


The commission rejected the counter proposal, which reverted the arrangement back to a 2005 agreement.


The 2005 level pays $60 to the shelter for every dog and cat brought in by animal control, instead of the $12,500 each month the society rejected.


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.


“We’re not going to squabble over that number,” Harris said. “There was only one month last year when it went over.”


Berg, who on Tuesday morning had not seen the signed contract, said the commission is likely to discuss the contract during its March 25 work session.


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