Mayor Dennis Estok updated Knox City Council members about the agreement between the Starke County Humane Society and the city when they met Tuesday night.
He said the agreement still has some minor changes that need to be made before it will become before the council for approval. He added that the Humane Society Board is currently looking over the document as well.
Mayor Estok said the agreement states that the city will be charged $15 per cat and $20 for every dog that is brought into the shelter by city officials. He added that if Humane Society staff needs to do a pick-up on dangerous animals it will be the regular fee plus an additional $75 charge.
Mayor Estok and Knox Police Chief Harold Smith both agreed that it is safer for the director of the humane society, Shanna Lloyd, to handle various situations with cats or dogs determined to be a threat.
Estok said, “It’s better for her to handle those instead of the police officers because she is trained to handle vicious animals. He asked Police Chief Smith, “Have we used her?” Chief Smith replied, “We have yes, she’s got the equipment to deal with them, we don’t.”
Estok added that since this line item was not budgeted for 2018, the money for fees will be taken out of the EDIT account for now. Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston added that when they come up with the next budget, they’ll list the Humane Society charges under the sanitation department.
Additionally, Mayor Estok said that to tackle the significant stray cat population, the City of Knox will offer live-traps that residents can place on their property. Part of the agreement states that once someone captures an animal and brings it to the Humane Society with the city-issued cage, the shelter will notify officials and the city will be charged for the animal, rather than the resident.