Marathon County Humane Society seeks help from the county
The Marathon County Humane Society cares for hundreds of stray animals each year. The county helps pay to take care of those animals. But Humane Society leaders said they need more money.
"It recently came to our attention that the county may have the ability to raise licensing fees, so that is what generated our discussions with the county," said Marathon County Humane Society Board President, Linda Berna-Karger.
The county gives the humane society about $132,000 each year.
But Humane Society leaders said they need more than $330,000 to operate.
Leaders said leaves them short about $168,000.
"Over the past year, you know, we've really had to reduce staffing to try and manage our budget, and it's very difficult to care for the number of animals that we have coming in, with minimum staff," said Berna-Karger.
The Humane Society receives funding from Marathon County yearly to help care for impounded animals. The money is supposed to fund care for seven days.
But Humane Society officials said without enough money coming in, they've had to cut staffing.
Now, the county and Humane Society are working together.
"We'll be working with the county towards a methodology to establish what that real cost of impoundment is for those animals," said Berna-Karger.
Deputy County Administrator Deb Hager said the county is looking for a permanent solution. For now, there may be a fix for this year.
Hager said the county is considering a one-time payment of $128,000 collected from dog licensing fees.
"We have probably a good portion of that 168 for this year, but once that's used it's gone," said Hager.
"It's an important issue to the community, to the animals and to our organization," said Berna-Karger.
County officials said they're considering every option.
"Trying to make sure that we can get agreement on what goes into impoundment cost and how that's allocated," said Hager.
Last year, the Humane Society covered their shortage with money from their reserves. Humane Society leaders will meet with the Marathon County Board next month.