Grand Traverse County and Cherryland Humane Society (CHS) are still in negotiations about the possibility of the Humane Society taking over the boarding of the County’s dogs. It looks like the talks are moving along and a decision might be reached soon. For an update on those negotiations, please click here.
After reading the proposal that was submitted to CHS by the county, I am publicly endorsing this plan and urge pet owners in Grand Traverse County to do the same by emailing their county commissioner. You can find your county commissioner at this link. Or better yet, email ALL of the commissioners.
If you don’t know who your county commissioner is, please open this pdf 2011 Apportionment Plan.
It appears that the only sticking point at the moment may be a money issue. I urge the county to continue to negotiate with CHS because what they are offering to the county IS of great value to the dogs who will be in their care and to the taxpayers of our county. The conditions for the dogs would HUGELY improve, both in their comfort and care. In addition, the taxpayers would be better served by having the dogs in a facility which has better hours for the public to reclaim their animals and it will allow the animal control officers to be on the road more. CHS will be taking on a lot of added work regarding the care of the dogs and the administrative duties they will be handling. I believe further negotiations will result in an agreement that will be a win-win-win situation for the county, CHS and the dogs.
The proposal includes some of the following information:
• Cherryland Humane Society (CHS) will NOT take in large animals, including horses (I chuckled when I read this, but thought I should mention this to anyone who assumed they might be taking in horses). They will be taking in DOGS ONLY. The county is not responsible for stray cats, so the Humane Society won’t be taking in stray cats for the county. After reading the contract, it was unclear to me whether the community should still take their dogs to Animal Control or go directly to CHS so I will be following up on that information once a contract is signed.
• Stray animals brought in to the Humane Society will be Grand Traverse County dogs until their hold time is up. That time limit is four days for dogs with no identification and seven days for dogs with an ID tag, tattoo, microchip or rabies tag (identification). At the end of the impoundment period, CHS may, in its sole discretion, continue to board animals, with all expenses and responsibility born by CHS.
• CHS agrees to euthanize and dispose of any animals when presented with a written document authorizing euthanasia that is signed by an agent of the County. My interpretation of this is that the county will decide which of their dogs are unadoptable due to aggression or other criteria.
• CHS will give the Grand Traverse County dogs a rabies vaccination prior to them being released to the dog’s owner or another placement unless an owner shows proper documentation that the dog’s rabies vaccination is current. In that case, the vaccination may be waived by the Humane Society in its discretion, so long as a copy of the paperwork is maintained for a period of at least one year from date of release.
• Grand Traverse County has 24/7 access for impounding dogs in the facility.
• CHS can provide emergency treatment for a Grand Traverse County dog before the hold time is up. If the dog appears to be suffering, they can have a vet treat or euthanize the animal, using up to $300 of the county’s funds per animal.
• Either party can terminate the agreement, with or without cause by providing 60 days written notice to the other party.
Remember, this is not the final proposal but it’s the latest information available from the discussions between the county and CHS. My previous story on the beginning of the negotiations can be found here.
Don’t forget to voice your opinion to your county commissioner – whether it’s in support or opposition. This is your tax money and the representatives need to know what you think about this issue. And, as always, be respectful in your calls, emails and letters.