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Washington Co. Commission signs new animal shelter agreement

After nearly two years with no contract, the Washington County Commission signed a new animal shelter agreement with the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley on Friday.

The commissioners, representatives from the shelter and officials from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office met several times to hash out the details of the agreement.

“You guys have worked very, very hard. You’ve been very patient with this,” said Commission President Kevin Ritter. “We’ve operated without a contract for over a year and we’re thrilled to be able to finally put this in place and continue working with you.”

Leight Murray, vice-president of the shelter’s board, said the agreement was “radically different” from what they’ve had in years past.

One of the new sections is on the reimbursement for animal transport.

“If we get called out, it helps pay our expenses of sending our vans and employees out,” said Mike Montgomery, shelter treasurer. “We’ve been trying to get that in (the agreement). It’s easier on us, otherwise it’s another expense for us. This way, the county’s helping out a little bit.”

The animal transport fee only comes into play if the dog warden or other Washington County law enforcement officials need transport of animals to or from the shelter.

Another change is the document itself. For the past few years, there were two agreements with the county. The first was a contract for $40,000 and the second was for $18,000.

Ritter said the $18,000 was put in place to pay vet bills the humane society owed. The other was money coming from the dog and kennel fund for operating costs.

The two contracts were rolled into one this time with a $2,000 cost of living increase, totaling $60,000, Montgomery said.

“For food, medicine, things like that,” he added about the increase.

The sheriff’s office also agreed to pay the shelter $7 per day for any animals the shelter holds in criminal cases for safekeeping.

The new one-year agreement goes into effect Jan. 1.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

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