Tag Archives: Grand Traverse County Animal Control

New Policies in Place for Grand Traverse County Pet Owners to Reclaim Their Lost Dogs

Grand Traverse County recently approved a memo of understanding regarding the contract between Cherryland Humane Society (CHS) and the county. The memo came about because CHS had concerns relating to individuals who surrendered dogs or claimed impounded dogs as part of animal control’s investigations into stray, neglected or abused dogs. Some of these interactions were creating an unpleasant and confrontational environment for the CHS staff. Both sides met to mitigate those negative encounters and drafted a memo. The changes make Grand Traverse County Animal Control the entity responsible for collecting fees and releasing animals at the shelter instead of CHS staff.

With the new policy, pet owners who have had their dogs impounded by animal control because they were at large will be contacted by Grand Traverse County Animal Control if the dog has ID. Pet owners are to call the office on Lafranier Road prior to reclaiming their dog from CHS. Continue reading

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Grand Traverse County Commissioners Unanimously Approve Moving Animal Control “Headquarters” Back to Keystone Road Location

The Grand Traverse county commissioners voted to move the Animal Control Division back to the Keystone Road location in Traverse City, home of the old animal control headquarters. There has been no decision on whether animal control will kennel the dogs in the future instead of Cherryland Humane Society (CHS), however the phones, computer, trucks, staff and other needed animal control items will be transferred to the Keystone location and upgrades will be made to the building.

This relocation will help facilitate the change in policy in a recent memo of understanding between the county and CHS regarding the surrendering and reclaiming of dogs at CHS. Pet Friends Magazine will post an article in the near future that outlines the agreement that makes Grand Traverse County responsible for collecting fees and releasing the animals instead of CHS staff. Dog owners will have to meet animal control officers at their current location on Lafranier Road before they are allowed to go to CHS to collect or surrender a dog.

No date was given on when the relocation of the animal control headquarters to Keystone Rd. will happen but the commissioners voted to move ahead with the plan. The building currently houses items for the Commission on Aging. The estimate for re-purposing the building was reported to be approximately $15,000 in structural needs (new kennel doors, new sink enclosure, painting, fixture upgrades, drywall repairs, bathroom upgrades, septic tank cleaning, etc.). Interim Co-Administrator and Undersheriff Nate Alger pointed out that savings could be found from the initial IT estimate for internet access by using an air card or hot spot.

Will the Grand Traverse Animal Control Division be Funded on Wednesday??

After providing limited animal control services since the previous Board of Directors and Administrator Tom Menzel eliminated the Animal Control Division and two full-time Animal Control Officers, Vicki Uppal, the current Administrator, will be presenting a recommendation to fund the Animal Control Division at Wednesdays Board of Commissioners meeting on January 17th.

The Animal Control Ad Hoc Committee has been meeting with the staff of the Health Dept. and Sheriff’s Office to determine how to meet the long term needs of Animal Control. They also received assistance and support from the public. At the meeting on January 10th, they made a recommendation to the Administration to find funding for the Animal Control Division as well as identify a location for where it should be relocated. Continue reading

More Funding and Staff Recommended for Grand Traverse Animal Control

The Grand Traverse County Animal Control Ad Hoc Committee held another meeting today concerning the funding and staffing of the Animal Control Division. Commissioners Cheryl Gore Follette, Dan Lathrop and Bob Johnson discussed options at the meeting with others in attendance.

Information was presented at the start of the meeting by Commissioner Cheryl Gore Follette that Sheriff Bensley did not have a desire to administer the Animal Control Division within the Sheriff’s Office so they would have to search for alternatives.

Commissioner Gore Follette continued to say that the goal of the meeting was to make a recommendation to the Administrator so that she could gather information and make a recommendation to the full Board at their next meeting on Wednesday, January 17th. Continue reading

With Grand Traverse County Not Funding Animal Control for 2018, Dog Licensing Campaign Becomes Major Focus for Funding

photo credit: Brauer Productions

Unlike just about every other Animal Control Department in Michigan who funds their staff and services from a millage or general fund, Grand Traverse County gets their funding strictly from dog license fees. Their refusal to fund the Division because it’s not a state “mandated service” means the county’s Animal Control Division is short-staffed and will go back to one part-time Animal Control Officer this month.

With the 2018 budget approved by the County Commissioners last night and no money allocated for the Animal Control Division, they are hoping that the just-released dog licensing campaign yields enough new income to increase staff hours and services back to where they should be. Continue reading

GT County Animal Control’s Uncertain Future

Deb Zerafa is the person who checks on someone suspected of hoarding cats. She’s whom the police call if they find sickly dogs locked up in cages in a house. If you’re walking down a trail and get bitten by a dog, it’s Zerafa who comes to investigate.

“A lot of [my job] is just trying to diffuse a situation that could become volatile between neighbors,” Zerafa said. “There’s a lot of neighbor-to-neighbor issues.”

On Oct. 17, Zerafa was working on one of those neighbor disputes in East Bay Township. Several weeks earlier, a woman had been bitten by a neighbor’s dog and required a rabies quarantine. Zerafa needed to follow up because the at-fault dog owner continued to let her dogs run loose. Zerafa knocked on the woman’s door, and while the cars outside and lights on inside suggested otherwise, no one was home — at least no one who would come to the door.

“I’ve got to talk to the owner,” Zerafa said. “I’ve gotten four calls since last week. This has got to stop.”

Click here for the rest of the story.

Stray Funds Sought: Grand Traverse County Commissioners Discuss Animal Control Proposals

Forgetful or thrifty local pet owners soon could see a gentle reminder to buy a dog license pop up in their social media feeds. A multi-media campaign encouraging those $30 yearly purchases is one of several proposals to prop up Grand Traverse County’s struggling animal control service. County Commissioner Cheryl Gore Follette on Wednesday detailed efforts to help the service become self-sufficient, at the least. Click here for the rest of the story.

Grand Traverse County Holds First Animal Control Ad Hoc Committee Meeting

Pancho is up for adoption at the Cherryland Humane Society

Grand Traverse County Commissioners Dan Lathrop, Cheryl Gore Follett and Bob Johnson held their first animal control ad hoc meeting tonight in front of an interesting mix of citizens and government employees concerned with the animal control issue. The ad hoc committee was formed during a commissioner’s study session on animal control on Wednesday, June 28th.

Attendees at the meeting included Sheriff Tom Bensley, Animal Control Officer Deb Zerafa, Animal Control Specialist Jaime Croel, Cherryland Humane Society Director Heidi Yates & Shelter Operations Manager Liz Williams, Treasurer Heidi Scheppe, Chief of Police Jeffrey O’Brien, Grand Traverse Police Officer Captain Clark, Environmental Health Coordinator Dan Thorell, Silver Muzzle Cottage founder Kim Skarritt and former County Commissioner Christine Maxbauer.

The ad hoc committee took a refreshing approach to the issue by allowing questions from those in attendance and a back-and-forth discussion between the crowd and the commissioners. Commissioner Cheryl Gore Follett said that she wanted to use the time to gather input from the people who showed up for the meeting. Continue reading

Grand Traverse County Approves Ad-Hoc Committee for Animal Control

Emotions ran high on Wednesday during a Commissioner’s Study Session regarding the status of animal control in Grand Traverse County. County Commissioner Cheryl Gore Follette gave an impassioned speech about why she requested the study session to be schedule when asked by Commissioner Dan Lathrop why they were having the meeting. She cited an increase in dog bites and the Animal Control Division not being able to deal with all of the issues the county has including abandoned animals. She added that ALL of the animals are being ignored after hours, on weekends and holidays because of the understaffing. She has seen pictures of abandoned and abused animals in the county and said, “if that doesn’t break your heart, shame on you.” She also stated that the animal control truck was a piece of crap and that the animal control budget is a joke. Continue reading

The Ugly Truth about Grand Traverse County Animal Control

Imagine if you will, a Grand Traverse County Animal Control Officer who has 601 square miles to cover in 25 hours a week. That area has about 90,000 people which equates to 35,000 families and about 13,000 dogs. Dogs like the one in the photo above depend on part-time Grand Traverse County Animal Control Officer, Deb Zerafa. The taxpayers also depend on her to keep them safe. However, these dogs and the taxpayers have only been able to depend on her help on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The cries of the dogs in the county and calls from concerned citizens have not been heard four days out of seven or when Zerafa is sick or on vacation because she is the only Grand Traverse County Animal Control Officer.

Seventeen months after Grand Traverse County eliminated their Animal Control Division and their two full-time officers, they are no closer to finding a permanent solution to providing adequate Animal Control services in the county. The county continues to marginalize the Animal Control Division and the services that the county residents depend on. They are not providing the hours, funding, staff or respect the division needs. The county’s stop-gap measure of hiring Zerafa part-time in October of 2016 seems to be a decision made to quell the discontent of the public instead of a decision to provide a fully-functional Animal Control Division. Hiring one part-time Animal Control Officer is not a serious solution to Animal Control issues in Grand Traverse County. Hiring a second and only seasonal Animal Control Specialist is also not a serious solution. How will this help the high volume of calls that they receive in the winter months – or in the spring or fall? Continue reading

Letter to the Editor Concerning Grand Traverse County Animal Control

from the Record Eagle 

03/07/2017

from David P. Agee
Peninsula Township

I recently met Animal Control Officer Deb Zerafa. I found her to be pleasant, intelligent, competent person and professional. She also seemed discouraged on her way to disillusioned. She is the only officer, works part time and handles serious, even dangerous, situations.

When I met her, she was investigating a puppy mill. Her department is underfunded, poorly equipped and she is poorly paid.

She wears hand-me-down uniforms and a protective vest. She is unable to access LEIN or do background checks before going into potentially dangerous situations alone to see who may have prior felonies, firearms or histories of violence.

Meanwhile, our county commissioners play kick-the-can with the Sheriff’s department over the Animal Control Division.

While it is not a mandated service, communities have always recognized animal control as a need and basic service.

If we can find money for endless studies on bridges, dams, traffic circles and Eighth Street, we should be able to find money for animal control.

We are talking about living, sentient beings here.

Most of us love our animals. We should care about the safety of our public servants. This situation is appalling.

Part-Time Afternoon Hours Currently Offered by the Grand Traverse County Animal Control Division

gt-animal-control-pic-1

The current Animal Control Officer, Deb Zerafa, was hired as a Grand Traverse County Animal Control Officer in October of this year. he position is part-time and she works 25 hours a week, five hours a day, Monday through Friday. The service time for this position is 1 to 6 pm. If the public needs to talk with the officer, they can leave a message any time of day on the Animal Control telephone at 231-995-6080 and their call will be returned when the officer is on duty. The County’s website is now updated to reflect this new information here.

In emergency situations, the public should call 911 or Central Dispatch telephone number of 231-922-4450. The County will continue to track and monitor calls for Animal Control and shift hours if needed to accommodate the highest call volume times, particularly when the season Animal Control Specialist works in the late spring to summer months. 

Grand Traverse County Getting Closer to Hiring Staff for Animal Control Division

pc-nathan-r-yergler

According to Grand Traverse Deputy Administrator, Jennifer DeHaan, Grand Traverse County should have an Animal Control Officer and an Animal Control Specialist in the next few weeks.

When asked about the progress of these two positions, she said, “The County conducted two rounds of interviews with candidates for the position of Animal Control Officer and Animal Control Specialist. Consistent with the County’s practice, the Health Department staff and management conducted both rounds of interviews. Cherryland Humane Society was also involved in the first round of interviews which was comprised of eight candidates, which were then narrowed down to four candidates for the second interview panel. We are currently vetting two final candidates for the positions and reviewing the budget that is projected to be available in Fiscal Year 2017.”

She continued, “We will be making an offer to both of these candidates and will bring them on board as soon as they are available and complete background and reference checks. Vehicles and equipment are being inspected and made ready for use. We anticipate one (or both) will begin in the next few weeks and are arranging job shadowing with neighboring animal control officers. Strategic planning will also occur throughout the fall and winter to prioritize services needed by the public within the context of the current budget.”


photo credit: Nathan R. Yergle

Grand Traverse County Animal Control Plans to Hire Two Part-Time Animal Control Employees

animal contro article

Grand Traverse County plans to post two part-time positions for the Animal Control Division. The first will be an Animal Control Officer and the second will be a temporary Animal Control Specialist position. The temporary position is expected to be utilized during times of higher call-volume.

Jennifer DeHaan, Deputy County Administrator, says, “We expect that the positions will be able to provide services after-normal business hours, which historically had never been available and we see as a service enhancement. In the past, as you know, if the call was after 5PM, the caller would have to wait until the next day or multiple days if the call was on a weekend or Holiday for assistance.”

The positions will be funded through the current dog-license fees for 2016. They do not anticipate any increase to the 2016 fees, but as they evaluate the need for services going into 2017, they may request an increase to those fees for 2017. 

Grand Traverse County Primary Challengers to the Commissioners Speak Up About Animal Control

At the end of 2015, the Grand Traverse County Commissioners voted to eliminate the Animal Control Division from the Health Department and two Animal Control Officers were laid off. The incumbent Commissioners involved in this vote were Christine Maxbauer, Alisa Kroupa, Dan Lathrop, Ron Clous, Carol Crawford, Bob Johnson, and Sonny Wheelock Jr.. Some of these candidates have no primary challengers on August 2nd nor do they face opposition to their candidacy in November.

pug in commission room

The current Commissioners who have primary challengers in the upcoming August 2nd election were contacted along with their opponents for statements on what happened in the past, the current state of affairs and their opinions on the future of the Animal Control Division. Below are the statements of those candidates who chose to respond about the issue and a listing of those who didn’t.

COMMISSIONER – District 1 (Republicans)

Dan Lathrop – no response

Ross Childs

What do you think about how the Animal Control issue was handled, surprising the public and eliminating the Animal Control Officers and most of the Division’s services without any public input?

The transfer of the Animal Control operation was faulty from the beginning. It was done with little forethought and without any discussion with the parties involved. Animal Control was part of the Sheriff’s operation when I arrived in 1975. It was primarily used as a disciplinary action for deputies who had not performed well.

The Deputy was assigned to Animal Control for a period of time, the deputy did not appreciate the assignment, and neither did the animals or their owners. There was a complete lack of understanding what the rights of the Sheriff were with regards to the transfer.

Do you agree with the County’s current idea of only funding the Animal Control Division with current revenue (i.e. licensing fees) and not adding any addition funding to staff the division with two Animal Control Officers as it was in the past?

I believe that the primary funding for the operation should be license fees, and this should be subject to public input and analysis of the ability to pay. I also do not believe the operation requires 2 fully trained officers with coverage 7 days per week.

In 2015, two full-time Animal Control Officers responded to 636 calls. What do you think the County should do if one full-time or two part-time officers can not handle the number of calls the Animal Control Division gets?

My position would be that 1 full time or 2 part time officers would not provide the level of service desired. More important is the is the requirement for proper training and hiring individuals who have care and feeling for animals, and have good skills in dealing with the public.

Do you have any ideas on how you’d like the Animal Control Division to move forward in the future?

I believe that the Animal Control belongs under the Health Department, works closely with the Cherryland Humane Society, local veterinarians and local law enforcement agencies.

Do you support forming an Animal Control Advisory Committee made up of qualified community members?

A local Advisory Committee could be considered with composition to include representation from veterinarians, law enforcement, Cherryland Humane Society, and local concerned animal activist groups.

COMMISSIONER – District 3 (Republicans)

Alisa Kroupa – no response

Cheryl Gore Follett
When asked about what transpired in December of 2015 with the defunding of the Animal Control Division, Follett responded, “The County Commissioner’s initial response of moving animal control to law enforcement was obviously not well thought out. They reversed the decision several months after implementing it. Law enforcement is too busy protecting life and property to also take on the task of responding to issues involving animals.

However, animals, be they pets or animals in nature, need to be protected.  A county animal control officer needs to be available 24/7 to respond to safety issues involving animals.  As a pet lover I would be devastated if something happened to my dog and there was no one to respond to my concern because it was a Friday night. Finding the right funding model needs to be explored. There may be some natural partnerships within the community that would support this endeavor. I think most citizens would agree that our pets need to be protected.” Continue reading

Grand Traverse County Animal Control Division Returning to the Health Department with Limited Funding

photo credit: 4.bp.blogspot.com

photo credit: 4.bp.blogspot.com

Seven months after the Grand Traverse County Commissioners eliminated the funding for the Animal Control Division, taking the Division out of the Health Department and laying off the Animal Control Officers, the Animal Control Division is now being returned to the Health Department again.

In a meeting with Christine Maxbauer and Alisa Kroupa recently, Maxbauer had stated that they were still looking into forcing Sheriff Bensley to take over the Division but that putting the Division back in the Health Department was another option. The Sheriff has repeatedly refused to take on the additional services from the Animal Control Division citing that he doesn’t want to run a department that is underfunded and understaffed. When comparing Grand Traverse County area to other surrounding counties, he said that Grand Traverse County should probably have three to four Animal Control Officers to run it right.

In a memo from Deputy Administrator Jennifer DeHaan to Health Officer/Director, Wendy Trute, on June 10th, DeHaan writes, “Please work with Human Resources to facilitate staffing for animal control services. The funding available will be the revenues derived from the dog-license fees. Please determine the level/type of service that can be funded from the existing revenues. If additional revenues are necessary, please work with the Treasurer’s Office to provide a recommendation to the Board to increase the dog-license fees. In addition, please also conduct an analysis of the services that are delivered which would include the calls for services, incidents responded to, types of incidents, time of calls for service and additional details such that this service can continue to be tracked and evaluated.” The memo was also sent along to Administrator Tom Menzel, Prosecuting Attorney Chris Forsyth, Sheriff Tom Bensley, Undersheriff Nate Alger, Treasurer Heidi Scheppe, the Board of Commissioners and Human Resources. Continue reading

Community-Led Group Works on a Solution to Grand Traverse County’s Animal Control Issue

LOOSE DOGS MAINjpeg

It’s been more than three months since the Grand Traverse County Commissioners voted to eliminate the Animal Control Division from the Health Department. That decision eliminated the Animal Control services that had been provided by two full-time Animal Control Officers who are now laid off. These Officers responded to 636 animal-related calls in 2015 and had 35 years of combined experience. Since then, the County Administrator, Commissioners, Deputy Administrator and others have been spinning a tale about how the Animal Control Division was only “moved” or “transferred” to the Sheriff’s Office. That was never an accurate representation of the situation and now the community understands that. The services previously provided by our dedicated and trained Animal Control Officers, including picking up stray dogs and inspecting dog kennels, are not services that have been transferred over to the Sheriff’s Office. Additionally, the Commissioners never changed the Animal Control Ordinance which means the services of Animal Control still fall under the Health Department. This has been confirmed by the Grand Traverse Prosecuting Attorney, Bob Cooney. Well-meaning animal lovers and other media outlets have tried to put the blame on the Sheriff’s Office for the problem not being solved but they are wrong. The Sheriff’s Office is not legally in charge of our County’s Animal Control Services according to the County’s own ordinance and they don’t have the resources to run an Animal Control Division even if they chose to do so. Continue reading

Community Decides to Protect and Transport Stray Dogs to Safety While Grand Traverse County Continues to Ignore their Own Animal Control Ordinance

photo credit: kirbysdawgblog.files.wordpress.com

photo credit: kirbysdawgblog.files.wordpress.com

With no current Animal Control Officers in Grand Traverse County to pick up stray dogs, many residents of the county are very worried that the dogs will pay the price for this lack of service. Wintertime is about the worse time of the year for stray dog pick-up to be discontinued because if strays are not picked up, in addition to the hazards of cars, other animals, lack of food and human cruelty, these dogs have to contend with bad weather conditions. In 2015, the Animal Control Officers responded to 242 calls on loose dogs. Now, somehow, those dogs are going to have to rely on good samaritans to get them to the Cherryland Humane Society (CHS) – or learn how to drive a car.

The current contract for CHS to board the County’s stray dogs is still in effect – but the County has made it the community’s responsibility to get a stray dog to the animal shelter after getting rid of the County’s two Animal Control Officers. However, not everyone is able to do this. What if a person who is able to catch a stray dog has no transportation? What if they work nights and sleep during the day? What if they have to work during the hours that CHS is open? What if they are allergic to dogs or have other issues which keep them from keeping the dog overnight or through the weekend until CHS opens their doors? Continue reading

Emails Reveal Grand Traverse County Misleading Public on Significance of Animal Control Service Cuts

dog header

Updated February 7, 2016

Grand Traverse County residents were outraged when they heard that the County Administrator Tom Menzel and the County Commissioners decided to eliminate the Health Department’s Animal Control Division and get rid of the two veteran Animal Control Officers. Since the announcement, the Commissioners and the County staff have mislead the public in press releases, interviews and emails to community members, telling them that Animal Control was simply “moved” and that most services would continue. They even made statements about how the Sheriff’s Office handled the majority of the calls anyway because they are always available and not just working eight hours a day like the two Animal Control Officers.

Over and over again, Menzel and Commissioners Maxbauer, Kroupa, Lathrop, Johnson and Crawford mislead the public and didn’t tell them that the Animal Control Officers are the ones who handled 97% of the animal-related calls. Menzel emailed a community member that “the new structure (moving to the Sheriff’s Office) serves the community much better.” He explained to another, “there will be little noticeable change other than an internal re-alignment from the Health Department to Sheriff Department.” Maxbauer said that the Sheriff’s Department “puts in more Animal Control hours than the (Animal Control) department each and every day of the year and has been doing so for decades…” Kroupa said it was “just a change of department heads and nothing else” – and that services were not only retained but improved. The other Commissioners sent out similar emails, making people believe that it was business as usual.

Those statements couldn’t be further from the truth as most of us in the animal rescue community already knew. Pet Friends Magazine did a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) on Grand Traverse County and received many documents and emails of the Commissioners and staff. Continue reading

According to Grand Traverse County, Stray Dogs are Now the Public’s Responsibility

stray-dog

Although the Grand Traverse County’s animal control ordinance still says that the Health Department is responsible for capturing, accepting and confining unlicensed dogs, stray dogs, unwanted, abandoned and abused dogs, they have (without an ordinance change) stopped adhering to their own county ordinance. The Animal Control Officers are no longer working and the County Commissioners have voted to turn the Animal Control Department over to the Sheriff’s Office with no plan put in place for the immediate transition or for the long-term success of the department. Several sources have confirmed it’ll be at least the middle of January until there is even an initial planning meeting between the County Administrator, Health Department, the Sheriff’s Department and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. As the County has stated in their press release, “Until the meeting takes place, services specific to animal control will not be enhanced under the Sheriff’s Department” – meaning that the Sheriff’s Department will only take care of the animal issues they have always taken care of – barking dogs in addition to abuse and neglect issues.

The Grand Traverse County website is instructing people to drop off stray dogs to Cherryland Humane Society (CHS) if they feel comfortable doing so. There is still a contract between Grand Traverse County and CHS to house the dogs there through February 18, 2016. The hours of CHS are Monday through Friday 11 am to 5 pm and Saturdays 11 am to 3 pm. Their phone number is 231-946-5116 and they are located at 1750 Ahlberg Road in Traverse City. Continue reading

Concerns About the Future of Animal Control in Grand Traverse County Bring Out People to Speak at the Board of Commissioners Meeting

2nd ac story pic

It was a full room at the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, December 22nd and many of the people were there because they had concerns about the recent elimination of the Health Department’s Animal Control Department and two Animal Control Officers.

Chairperson Christine Maxbauer started off the meeting with a few statements. She said there was misinformation about the situation in the public and also commented that the Commissioners intended to renew their contract with Cherryland Humane Society (CHS) to house their stray dogs. She said that CHS offers a valuable service to the community and that they are looking at how to strengthen their relationship including increased licensing fees. She continued to say that having an Animal Control Department in a Health Department is abnormal – that it’s usually ran through a Sheriff’s Department. She said that Sheriff Bensley is an animal lover and she was sure that he would be following “best practices” when he takes over the Animal Control Department.

Although Animal Control issues were not on the agenda, the next part of the meeting was opened up for public comment and many in the crowd spoke up and made their views and suggestions known to the Commissioners.

Several community members suggested that the Commissioners create an animal advisory committee of concerned citizens to help guide them through the transition and help offer solutions to the future needs of animal issues in the county. This has been done at many other animal shelters in Michigan and around the country – and  some of these committees actually “run” the shelter/animal control by making policy decisions, having fundraisers and doing many other things. The speakers expressed their understanding of the financial restraints that the county was facing but Linda Price commented that the decision was done in haste (to meet a year-end budget deadline) and said that the Commissioners had a lack of knowledge about what happens next. Continue reading

Cherryland Humane Society/Grand Traverse County Animal Control Agreement Passes Unanimously

On Wednesday, April 24th, the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to accept the dog boarding agreement between Grand Traverse County and the Cherryland Humane Society. This vote was made after another unanimous vote was made in favor of the contract by the Grand Traverse County Ways & Means Commission on April 17th.

The start date for the Humane Society to start boarding the County’s dogs could be as soon as June 1st; however, that is still being worked out between the County and the Humane Society.

Click on cherryland agreement for the current contract that was voted on.

According to Administrator, Dave Benda, the agreement includes provisions that specify a broad range of the Humane Society’s responsibilities, including placement and release, euthanasia, care and feeding, maintenance of the kennels, emergency treatment and fee collections.

The base boarding fee is $2,262.00 per month ($27,144 a year) and is based on a previous five-year average of 343 animals. If the number of county animals received by the Humane Society exceeds 343, the county agrees to pay an additional $10 per day per additional animal.

Benda also states that based upon previous year activity, the new agreement is estimated to cost the county an additional $5,000 per year. However, it will also allow the two Animal Control Officers to spend an additional 3-5 hours per day in the field addressing concerns and inquiries of the public. The public will have expanded access to find lost or adoptable animals six days per week in a single location.

Pet Friends Magazine endorsed this agreement and looks forward to the dogs having a much better living environment while they are waiting to be reunited with their families – or go up for adoption.