CLINTON — The Clinton Humane Society is not taking any animals from the city of Clinton or residents after the mayor vetoed a contract that had been approved by the City Council.
Operations Manager Sandy Bartels said the society understands the veto ended the contract for services. The contract expired at the end of January without the renewal.
The new contract increased the subsidy provided by the city from $65,000 to $120,000. In his veto message, Mayor Mark Vulich called the increase outrageous and unrealistic. Vulich was critical of the Humane Society’s unwillingness to negotiate and said the group apparently had no concern for the impact on the city budget and residents.
The mayor also vetoed a measure that established a committee that was to discuss a new deal with the Humane Society proposed by Ed O’Neil, representing the Humane Society. Vulich wrote that he did not think the city would save money under that proposal.
The mayor also wrote that a proposal from a local veterinarian to provide the required services for $40,000 — or $80,000 less than the Humane Society — should not be ignored, but no contract has been considered.
The city’s animal control department is part of the police department, and Police Chief Brian Guy said the interim city administrator, city attorney and he are looking at options the city has. Until some type of resolution is reached, the police chief said the department is handling calls only of dangerous animals, dogs at large and dog bites.
Bartels said the society doesn’t know where the animals will be taken. She said the group has had calls from residents about where to take stray animals. Bartels also said the Humane Society has contacted the city about picking up”’a few” animals that were being held for the city. The shelter keeps animals three to four days for the city and then they become the shelter’s, so Bartels said there were just a few animals still belonging to the city.
Bartels said the group is taking animals from cities where it has a contract, including Camanche, Charlotte, Preston, Grand Mound Wheatland and Morrison, Ill. She said they are requiring a driver’s license to ensure anyone dropping off an animal lives in those communities.
Humane Society officials say residents should contact the council members, or they also can answer questions.
During the recent meeting, the council approved the renewal of the agreement on a 5-2 vote. The vote on the formation of a committee to discuss a new agreement was approved 6-1.