Licking County News

Pataskala to review contract with county humane society


Pataskala needs more information before signing a memorandum of understanding with the Licking County Humane Society to investigate animal cruelty calls, the city's safety committee decided Monday, July 1.

Lori Carlson, executive director of the humane society, met with the safety committee July 1 and said it has investigated 41 cases of animal cruelty, neglect or abandonment in Pataskala since taking over the jurisdiction in 2010.

Pataskala City Council President Dan Hayes, who serves on the safety committee, said at least nine of the addresses on Carlson's list are outside city boundaries.

He also questioned several other addresses on the list, which he said are on roads that are not entirely in the city's jurisdiction.

Carlson agreed to confirm the number of calls in the city's boundaries before re-evaluating the potential cost for the city.

She said the humane society is a nonprofit organization funded by donations and a stipend from Licking County for the humane society's officer.

She had requested Pataskala pay $290.66 per month -- $66 to supplement the investigating officer's salary and the rest for animal care -- based on the 41 calls she previously thought came from Pataskala.

Licking County Animal Control, which operates the Licking County Animal Shelter, will continue to pick up stray animals and investigate claims of unlicensed dogs or dog bites, she said. It is funded through county tax dollars and investigated animal cruelty calls in Pataskala through 2010.

Pataskala City Council member Pat Sagar, who leads the safety committee, asked what would happen if the city doesn't sign the memorandum of understanding and contract with the humane society for services.

"If you're not working with us, then you would have to come up with your own plan," Carlson said.

Pataskala City Administrator Timothy Boland said the city will evaluate the cost of the program after Carlson provides a new cost estimate.

Police Chief Bruce Brooks said he does not have any extra funds in his budget to pay the humane society. He asked if the city could pay per call this year to ease the burden on his budget.

"We want to be helpful and serve these animals, but we understand budgets," Carlson said.

She said she would consider accepting payments as calls are investigated, but said it might cost the city more, depending on the level of care a confiscated animal needs. She said it can cost $400 to spay or neuter a confiscated animal, update its shots and care for it. Her estimate to the city was $200 per animal for care.

Carlson said Granville already has agreed to pay for services and the humane society is talking to Utica and Heath about contracts. She said Hebron said it could pay $10 a month for the service, which the humane society declined.