Ann Arbor — November 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Washtenaw County Commission: Penny-wise & pound-foolish on “animal control”


I have a new piece up at A2Politico that discusses a recent decision by the Washtenaw County Commission to unilaterally cut the payment for its contract with the Huron Valley Humane Society (HVHS) in half. At first, this might seem unimportant given the fiscal crises faced by most municipalities these days. But when you dig deeper, you realize what a complete squandering of resources this decision represents

The short version of this tale is basically this: the County has a contract with the HVHS to supply almost all of their state-mandated animal control and care services. For $500,000 annually, the HVHS does everything including hundreds of animal cruelty investigations and prosecutions each year. The value of the services they provide is actually $1.5 million.

Not content with this astonishingly fantastic deal, the County Commission unilaterally decided to cut their payment to half of that.

The level of care that animals receive at the HVHS is, very simply put, unrivaled. Their euthanization rate is a paltry 18%. This means that over 80% of the animals that come to their facility and that are adoptable are, in fact, adopted.

Not only that, the per-capita cost of these services are far less than that of any county in the region.

I encourage you to check out my article. It shows very clearly how humane societies, animal shelters and pounds and other animal control facilities should be run. And it shows, without a doubt, how the municipality working with such a facility, should NOT.

All photos by Anne C. Savage. Please do not reuse without permission. For more (and larger) photos from Anne’s recent tour of the Huron Valley Humane Society, visit her blog.