City Animal Control Bill Grows

Windsor-Essex County Humane Society, June 12, 2016. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

A 22% jump in animal control costs has the City of Windsor looking for other service options.

The Windsor-Essex County Humane Society currently provides the service and requested more money in a new contract.

Humane Society Executive Director Melanie Coulter says the shelter has been providing the service to the city at a loss for a number of years.

“This year we decided we could not continue to do that and basically, if we were going to continue to provide these services, we need to break even,” says Coulter.

A report to council on the matter shows the humane society was absorbing losses of over $100,000 a year for the last three years.

“The number of animals coming in has increased over the years, there’s just a lot of different cost increases; so we’re providing a really high level of care to the animals and all of these things cost money,” says Coulter.

The new bill to the city for animal control is $1.039-million — about $187,000 more than what’s set aside for the service in the city’s 2016 budget.

Coulter stresses the humane society will live on if the city chooses another option for animal control.

“Definitely the humane society has been around long before we performed services under the contract,” says Coulter. “What a lot of humane societies actually have found is they do much better and are more successful fundraising if they don’t perform municipal services any longer.”

Council has renewed its contract with the humane society for another year while it considers other animal control options.

— with files from Maureen Revait