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Owens' retain city's animal control contract

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

(Photo)
Sam Glover
* Humane Society rejects one-year offer of $13,500

One organization is receiving a slightly higher amount for contractual services to the City of Brazil.

During Wednesday's meeting of the Common Council of the City of Brazil, the Clay County Animal Rescue, Inc., Center Point, received the animal control contract for the third year in a row.

The council began the meeting with discussions about the contract funding, which was $12,500 in 2009 and 2010, with the possibility of being slightly boosted.

In previous council meetings, consideration had been taken for the amount to be raised to $13,500.

"We have some room in the budget where we can move funding around," Clerk-Treasurer Karen McQueen said during Wednesday's meeting.

With that statement, council member Sam Glover made the motion, seconded by Pat Heffner, to increase funding in the contract to $13,500. The motion passed 3-0 with council members Brad Deal and Steve Lamb not in attendance.

After passage of the increase, Tammy Rothrock, owner of TJ Rescue and Sanctuary Corp., 13445 North County Road 400 West, Brazil, questioned whether Heffner should not have voted due to a perceived conflict of interest.

"I believe Pat Heffner is vice president of the Clay County Animal Rescue Board," she said.

When asked to provide proof of the accusation, Rothrock said she did not have any with her.

"We cannot function off of innuendo or things that cannot be backed up," Glover replied. "We have to act on fact."

Rothrock claimed she was not making innuendo and would bring proof once she had it.

Clay County Animal Rescue co-owners John and Chrystll Owens said their board members include themselves and Lester Fields, while Heffner stated, "I am on a lot of boards, but not that one."

Meanwhile, council members and Mayor Ann Bradshaw extended the contract offer to representatives of the Clay County Humane Society first.

"We just can't run the shelter for $13,500," Humane Society Board President Anita Hightshoe told the council. "After the cost for food, cleaning supplies and gas to retrieve animals, we would be losing money."

Hightshoe also asked the council if they were aware ownership of the building and grounds would revert back to the city if the Humane Society were to "go belly up."

The council said they were aware of the terms of the deed to the property, while McQueen clarified that the city was not financially responsible for the Humane Society.'

Hightshoe added there would be an additional risk to taking a contract for less than their current contract with the county.

"I have also heard that if we accept a lower contract with the city, the county would drop us," she said. "We currently are funded by the county contract, along with numerous fundraisers, adoptions and spay/neuter clinics, and we watch every penny."

(Photo)
Bill Lovett
Council member Bill Lovett pointed out taxes from city residents is included in the Humane Society's contract with the county.

"City residents pay both city and county taxes, so part of the taxes they pay goes into the funding provided to the shelter through the county's contract," Lovett said.

Glover said the biggest problem in bumping up the contract amount has been the lack of funds in the city budget in recent years.

Bradshaw added, "At some point, hopefully we can get the amount back up."

With the Humane Society turning down the animal control contract offer, Glover made a motion to renew the contract with the Clay County Animal Rescue for one year. The motion was seconded by Heffner and passed 3-0.

"We are happy to be working with the city for another year," Chrystll Owens said.

Bradshaw told The Brazil Times the city and council will continue to work on revamping the animal ordinance at the start of the new year, but has not set a date for another work session to discuss the matter further.

The next regular meeting of the Common Council of the City of Brazil will be 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011, in the Council Chambers of City Hall.


Comments
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I like the humane shelter and it's services very much. Why are their operating expenses so much higher at the humane shelter than at the animal rescue - or will the animal resue also be losing money by taking this contract?

-- Posted by brazilian on Wed, Dec 22, 2010, at 10:19 PM

QUOTE: "With that statement, council member Sam Glover made the motion, seconded by Pat Heffner, to increase funding in the contract to $13,500. The motion passed 3-0 with council members Brad Deal and Steve Lamb not in attendance.

After passage of the increase, Tammy Rothrock, owner of TJ Rescue and Sanctuary Corp., 13445 North County Road 400 West, Brazil, questioned whether Heffner should not have voted due to a perceived conflict of interest.

"I believe Pat Heffner is vice president of the Clay County Animal Rescue Board," she said.

When asked to provide proof of the accusation, Rothrock said she did not have any with her.

"We cannot function off of innuendo or things that cannot be backed up," Glover replied. "We have to act on fact."

Glover, why didn't you inquire of Heffner if in fact she was v.p. of the Animal Rescue Board?? Would have really been that difficult to turn to Heffner and ask?? You say you have to "act of fact". So without inquiring, how do you know you did "act on fact". You acted on your opinion, not fact. Glover, when you can take a minute of your valuable time, look up the definition of fact......Google is your friend.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Wed, Dec 22, 2010, at 11:53 PM

I.M Lee,

Didn't read the full article. Pat did answer the question. Here's the line incase you missed it:

Clay County Animal Rescue co-owners John and Chrystll Owens said their board members include themselves and Lester Fields, while Heffner stated, "I am on a lot of boards, but not that one." Pat's one of the most honest women I know. If she says she's not on the board, then she's one politician you can take what she says to the bank! Pick on some other lousy politicians. Lord knows this country is full of them.

-- Posted by Partrosie on Thu, Dec 23, 2010, at 7:56 AM

Because she is not one if them!

-- Posted by Partrosie on Thu, Dec 23, 2010, at 8:44 AM

Why does the animal rescue charge a city fine if they pick up an animal in the county? I saw an ad on Hoosier topics a while back, in the lost and found, where they picked up a dog at S.R. 42 and Harmony Rd and it said to claim the animal a fine must be paid to the city. Why? The animal wasn't picked up in the city. Just curious. I replied to the ad and asked them but never got a response.

-- Posted by ugotitdude on Thu, Dec 23, 2010, at 9:12 AM

City fines are paid for city animals and it was explained it was a type O.

-- Posted by oknow on Thu, Dec 23, 2010, at 9:57 AM

It's my understanding that individuals, including those living in Brazil, can buy a membership into the Clay County Humane Society for as little as $10 a year.

Once a member, the CCHS would respond to your call should you need their services.

I've only heard this, but it was from someone who belonged to the Society, so I'll take their word for it. If the situation is not as I have described, by all means correct me.

...just tryin' to help.

-- Posted by ClayCountyGuy on Thu, Dec 23, 2010, at 11:29 AM

...and further,

I'm glad that Mrs. Heffner was put on the record in a public meeting stating she was NOT a member of that particular board. Because if by chance proof showing the opposite turns up, then I think that it something that brings this vote back into question and her future as a councilwoman.

-- Posted by ClayCountyGuy on Thu, Dec 23, 2010, at 11:36 AM

The cost of running the shelter is very high due to the fact they provide excellent care for so many animals. Usually about 50 plus dogs, & 60 plus cats. They are a no kill shelter & only put an animal down when there is absolutely no way around it. At the present time there are about 7 part time workers on Payroll. Volunteers help so much, but you can not depend on them fully. Upkeep is expensive! Heating & cooling costs a lot. You factor in payroll & related taxes, food, medicine, upkeep for the van, insurances, utilities, vet bills, transport expenses, cleaning supplies, trash removal, & the list goes on.... Most people have no clue really how difficult it all is. The shelter can not afford to take the city contract at that amount. It will have to come up to the county rate before it will be considered.

-- Posted by Sugarbear on Thu, Dec 23, 2010, at 1:17 PM

KUDOS to the Brazil City Council......Mrs. Hightshoe states "We just can't run the shelter for $13.500," Humane Society Board President Anita Hightshoe told the council. "After the cost for food, cleaning supplies and gas to retrieve animals, we would be losing money." When did the shelter become a for profit organization? Mr. Lovet is correct the city already pays a portion of the county contract through property taxes collected from Brazil citizens. If Brazil is not a part of Clay County then why does the private ambulance service operate within the city with no additional contracts? Now I have heard that when the Clay County Humane Shelter did have a contract with the city that a large portion of the shelters animals came from within the city, I have also heard Trans Care state that 80% of their calls come within the city. I just do not understand how one contract includes the city and the other does not. As for as the city being aware that the shelter and grounds would revert back to their control, I would be shocked, if they were not aware of this situation. Maybe this is what should happen; let the city place a manager at the shelter that will run the facility with their head and not their hearts. If a shelter the size of the Clay County's shelter is housing 50 plus dogs and 60 plus cats, then they need to go belly up. These animals are not wanted, and if after a reasonable time they have not been adopted then they should be humanely euthanize, I understand this sounds cruel, but it may be the only way for this shelter to survive. Is it time for the Clay County Commissioners to review the shelters contract? Is new language needed in the contract? Or is it time to pull all taxpayer funding from this organization? Are these questions that should be asked in the upcoming election year?

-- Posted by lucky on Thu, Dec 23, 2010, at 4:42 PM

Partrosie, I sure did miss it, sorry!!

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Thu, Dec 23, 2010, at 6:12 PM

The last time I saw the Clay Co. Animal Rescue, it was horrible! I wouldn't send a snake there!

As for humanely euthanizing the animals, tell me what is a humane way to kill an animal? They don't always "just go to sleep"! I for one think there are some people that should be euthanized! Just my opinion.

-- Posted by th1953 on Thu, Dec 23, 2010, at 7:36 PM

It is time the commissioner took a long look at the county contract only because every time i have called in asking the shelter to come get a dog out of my yard or off my property they have told me they was full and i am in the county so if they did get the city contract the first words would be when you called them would be sorry we are full right now we will put you on a pick up list. But i do know when i did have a dog show up at my place starved to death at 6 am and i call the rescue they told me to bring it over and they took it in with no problems.

-- Posted by oknow on Fri, Dec 24, 2010, at 8:11 AM

To clarify what actually happened during the conversation about Councilwoman Heffner's involvement with the board of the Clay Co. Animal Rescue it needs to be noted that Mr. Glover immediately turned to Mrs. Heffner after the accusation was leveled by Mrs. Rothrock and asked her if she served on the board at the rescue to which she answered no. He then asked the Owenses for the names of the people who served on their board and they gave 3 names, none of which were Pat Heffner's. Therefore acting on the FACTS that were presented and also the FACT that when Mrs. Rothrock was asked to present PROOF of her accusations she could not because she had none, the council was able to proceed in awarding the contract to the entity who could provide the service at the agreed to rate. I guess you had to be there.

-- Posted by SNG621 on Fri, Dec 24, 2010, at 8:48 AM


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