Keep the Clermont County Animal Shelter No-Kill

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For years, the government of Clermont County, Ohio has underfunded its animal shelter and animal control operations, leading to the needless killing of adoptable pets. As recently as 2011, 81% of animals who entered the shelter were killed. Today, save rates are at an all-time high and pets are finally safe in Clermont County, for the moment. What made this possible? For the last two years, Clermont County Animal CARE Humane Society, the current operator of the Clermont County animal shelter, has stepped in and made up the budget shortfall with their own funds from operations, grants, and board and private donations, just as previous humane society partners have had to do. 

The County’s longstanding approach to underfunding its animal shelter and animal control operations is irresponsible and unsustainable. We are asking the County to step up and fund the basics of the shelter operations required by Ohio law so that their humane society partner can do the rest and fund programs above and beyond the catch & kill model. If the County doesn’t fund the basics, the people of Clermont County will lose the best shelter operator the County has had in decades. 

What’s on the line?

Plain and simple, animal lives are on the line. Proper funding, or lack thereof, will determine whether Clermont County animal shelter stays “no-kill” or goes back to killing animals. If the County won’t responsibly fund the shelter budget, their humane society partner will not renew the contract because Clermont Animal CARE is standing firm for fair funding, for a responsible and sustainable solution for the animals of Clermont County. If the county funds their portion of the contract requirements (animal control and hold of stray dogs for the legally-required 3-day stray hold period), then the humane society can use their funding to provide programs for the community that the county won’t fund, like medical care, enrichment programs, support for pet owners who have fallen on hard times, cat programs of any kind, and keeping animals alive more than 3 days. 

The county’s portion of animal services costs $599,846 to deliver. However, the county is currently only paying $310,000. Clermont Animal CARE has been covering the difference for two years, in addition to another $270,000 they spent to run the shelter and offer important programs, but they could be doing more. While they’ve operated a high-intake, no-kill shelter for two years without the county paying its fair share, this model is unsustainable. The humane society isn’t asking to make a profit on the contract, they’re only asking to break-even and not operate at a loss for the provision of basic services. 

The county must begin paying its fair share for the services it is required by law to provide. It cannot continue short-changing shelter operators and expecting the humane society and donors to pick up the tab for services they are required by law to provide to their county. Since the contract was funded at its highest level of $351,300 in 2014, county revenues have increased 14% while shelter funding has decreased 12% in that same timeframe. The animals of Clermont County deserve better.

What can you do? 

Please sign your name to demand fair funding from the Clermont County government to cover basic animal control and sheltering expenses that they are required to provide to their community. If they finally pay their fair share, Clermont Animal CARE can continue to offer the additional programs that the animals and residents of the county deserve.