Opinion: Washtenaw County should leave animal control duties with Humane Society
Once again in “County shifts humane society funds to sheriff’s office under revised budget” (AA.Com/Sunday Nov. 6), the commissioners are short on logic and data.
In a move, which seems rather vendetta like, the county board is proposing a transfer of authority for animal control to the sheriff’s department.
Chairman Conan Smith told me the “Sheriff’s Department has a statutory obligation for animal control.” That is correct. But isn’t it also correct that the sheriff’s department has deputized the animal control officers at the Humane Society to carry out that obligation, for years? And has that not been an effective arrangement?
What happened to the old adage, “IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT.”
In the statement “some commissioners have expressed interest in issuing a request for proposals to see if there’s another private organization that can provide animal control services at a lower cost,” what I hear is: “We don’t know for sure, but we think we can do it cheaper.” Well commissioners, when do you think you will know?
The truth is, it can’t be done. A few paragraphs later, Smith says, “the county needs to continue to provide a level of funding for animal control service that goes beyond just the state mandate.” Mr. Smith, that is exactly what the Humane Society of Huron Valley is doing.
Do you not care about data proving the county is getting a bargain? This data is not refutable. Washtenaw County currently gets the best deal per capita for animal control of any surrounding county.
Do you not understand the difference between a 50 percent kill rate in other counties, and an 80 plus percent SAVE rate in Washtenaw County. Do you NOT think this is of significance to the voters of Washtenaw County?
No one can refute the difficult budget situation facing the county board. Yet, it has been noted that the county administrator boasted about not proposing any county employee layoffs , while the Humane Society (with whom there is a formal contract through December and a letter of intent for several years) and other non-profit agencies are needing to consider employee lay-offs. If Commissioner Sizemore is quoted correctly, how does the county board justify re-hiring retired county workers, with no proposed layoffs, and an 8 percent raise for staff. Where is the shared sacrifice?
M. Kate Murphy
HSHV volunteer, Pinckney