The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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February 15, 2013

Council to meet Tuesday about animal services

CLINTON — The Clinton City Council will meet during a special Committee of the Whole session at 9 a.m. Tuesday to discuss the future of animal control in Clinton.  

Last Tuesday, council members failed to override Mayor Mark Vulich’s veto of the city’s contract with the Clinton Humane Society. The contract increased the city subsidy of the agency from $65,000 to $120,000, one of Vulich’s noted points for issuing the veto.   Council members also did not override his veto of a resolution that would have formed an ad-hoc committee to discuss potential cost savings for the contract. Both resolutions only received four votes in favor when they required five for the override.

As a result, the Clinton Humane Society continues not to accept stray animals from Clinton residents or the city’s animal control officer.

With the two vetoes standing, the council also did not pass a third resolution that would have awarded the animal impoundment services to local veterinary clinic All Pets Mobile Clinic. That agreement only received two ‘yes’ votes.

The outcome of the three resolutions left the city in a state of confusion and without a contract for animal control.

“It is clear that we are at an impasse where consensus needs to be reached,” Interim City Administrator Jessica Kinser wrote in a memo to the Mayor and City Council on Friday. “This is a policy level decision which does not have a clear direction for me to provide administrative guidance. Therefore, this needs to be discussed by the Council as a whole and a level of service be agreed upon.”

Without a contract for animal control and impoundment, the city is currently only picking up animals required by law, which are dogs running at large without proof of rabies vaccination, animals that have bitten and dangerous dogs.    

Kinser advised council members to consider the statutory requirements as well as all animals the animal control officer has picked up and the same animals that have been previously turned in by the public when establishing the city’s future animal control service.  

All options would include euthanasia and adoption if possible. Once the council comes to an accord on what services should be available to Clinton residents, a request for proposal can be issued detailing what the city wants for service, Kinser said.

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