Traverse City Record-Eagle

April 23, 2013

Animal shelter agreement struck

BY MATT TROUTMAN mtroutman@record-eagle.com and MICHAEL WALTON mwalton@record-eagle.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Cherryland Humane Society is poised to take in strays picked up by Grand Traverse County Animal Control.

The Grand Traverse County Commission approved a deal during a recent committee meeting. The commission votes for final approval during its Wednesday board meeting. The Humane Society board already approved the deal in March.

Members of both the Humane Society and the commission describe the deal as a “win-win.” The county wanted to close its Keystone Road animal shelter and free its animal control officers from shelter duties.

“I think the animal control officers will be able to do their job more effectively,” said Dave Burke, president of the Cherryland Humane Society board of directors. “The Humane Society will be able to do our job of placing animals with new owners.”

Burke said June 1 is the tentative start date for the Humane Society to take over shelter services. He said it would mostly take in dogs in accordance with local animal control laws.

Commission Chairman Herb Lemcool said the Keystone Road shelter will close when the transition is complete.

“We need to make sure no one can drop a dog off at the old shelter,” he said.

The county will pay $27,000 per year for an average of 343 animals, plus additional costs associated with emergency treatment and laboratory testing of impounded animals. Each additional county animal will cost $10 per day.

Health Department Finance Officer Gere Pugh said the deal will cost the county an additional $5,000 to $10,000 a year. He also noted, though, that it not only frees up animal control officers but also people will be able to pick up lost pets on Saturdays, which they couldn’t do when the county boarded pets.

“It’s great we have been able to work out this agreement,” he said.