Rock Co. Humane Society could see increase in animals

Several municipalities considered leaving because of cost concerns

Published On: Oct 31 2013 09:04:19 PM CDT   Updated On: Oct 31 2013 09:20:25 PM CDT
rock county humane society
JANESVILLE, Wis. -

More stray animals could be coming to the Rock County Humane Society after several municipalities started looking for other shelters, citing cost concerns.

The shelter's new director, Brett Frazier, said his focus has been on repairing relationships throughout the community.

Frazier came on board as the new executive director in June, and since then they've nearly doubled the number of municipalities.

"At one point we were down to just about 10 municipalities out of 29 that exist in Rock County. Right now we have commitments from 17 of the municipalities to come back online," said Frazier.

By recognizing the specific budgeting needs of each community they were able to get some of them to come back.

Frazier said rather than charge them per animal they'll be charged a flat fee.

"What we really want to make sure we're doing is meeting the needs of the community, and we want to do that in a way that's affordable to the municipalities, that allows us to be sustainable as an organization and that's what we're moving toward which is exciting," said Frazier.

The city of Janesville is one of several cities that had concerns about the shelter's rising fees.

"It got to where it was around $120,000 a year and then we found out it was going to be double, about $240,000 a year with reduced services" said Deputy Chief Dan Davis Janesville Police Department.

Davis said city leaders opted for a dual contract with Rock and Dane counties to make up for the reduction in services.

"We intend to have a dual contract for 2014 and then we will continue to evaluate to try and make a determination to see what’s necessary beyond that,” said Frazier.

Despite some early success, Frazier said there's more work to be done.

"Our goal is to get to a point where we have a unified message that if you find a homeless or lost pet in Rock County you can bring it to the Rock County Humane Society, and we'll help it,” said Frazier.

About 2,100 lost and homeless pets come to the Rock County Humane Society each year.

With a budget just under $800,000, municipal contracts are important. Those contracts bring in about $300,000 to the shelter.

Frazier is optimistic that another five communities will also be contracting with them.