For the past year, Dawson County has paid $120 per animal taken to the Dawson County Humane Society.
A new contract between the county and the animal shelter adjusts the amount of funding the county will pay to the shelter in 2009.
The Dawson County Board of Commissioners voted last Thursday to approve a one-year contract for $180,000 to be paid in monthly increments of $15,000.
In 2008, the county paid $216,000 to the humane society, which according to shelter volunteer Al Jorgenson, received an additional $166,000 in donations.
Shelter officials said the adjusted amount, about 16 percent less than last year, could force the shelter to take in fewer animals.
County officials said each county department and organizations receiving county funding have seen a decrease this year due to lower than expected collection revenue.
Mike Berg, chairman of the board of commissioners, said the changes to the contract are necessary in order to maintain a yearly budget.
Prior to the vote, Berg suggested the humane society look into an operational audit to account for and keep record of where money received by the shelter is spent.
“I think any organization receiving taxpayer funding, and really any sound business operation, should require an audit,” he said. “But we’ve looked into it and it’s not required, so the board didn’t include that in the contract.”
The new contract begins on June 1 and will be revisited at the end of the year to align the humane society’s budget with the county’s calendar year.
E-mail Michele Hester at firstname.lastname@example.org.