Leaders at the Humane Society of Marathon County say they need more money to continue caring for animals. They met with members of the Marathon County board today to explain why.
Last month, humane society officials asked the county for an addition $168,000 dollars to operate. After going back over some data, they've lowered that number, but they told the finance committee Monday they still need more than $100,000.
"This is a dire situation for the humane society," Humane Society of Marathon County Board President Linda Berna-Karger said. "If we're not able to receive additional funding or come to some resolution about this you know we will have to decrease services that we provide to the community."
The county already gives the humane society about $132,000 a year. That money helps pay for care during the first week after an animal comes to the shelter.
Humane society leaders are now asking the county for $116,000 more to help cover additional costs.
"I think we're still in the early stages of trying to figure out the where and what the whole root of the problem is," Marathon County Board Member Kurt Gibbs said.
The county's current contract with the humane society expires this summer. Leaders at the humane society said that agreement doesn't cover costs for the bigger facility it moved into a few years ago on the city's west side.
"Our overhead costs are so much higher and the staff needed to take care of a building that size and the number of animals that we can care for is so much greater," Berna-Karger said.
County board members said they need to consider all their options and the county's legal obligations before making a final decision.
"I wanted to see what the total operational costs were and what the county's responsibility is," Gibbs said. He added that they're committed to keeping the humane society open. "They say at the current spending rate that they will run out by the end of April so it has to be addressed rather quickly."
Members of the county's finance committee plan to meet with humane society leaders again next week to talk about the numbers and try to find a solution. Any increase in funding would then have to be approved by the full Marathon County board.