What are shelter policies for stray animals in central Wis.? - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

What are shelter policies for stray animals in central Wisconsin?

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WOOD COUNTY (WAOW) -

Money is the center of attention for the Marathon County Humane Society. Right now, the shelter is working on a new contract with the county to figure out how to pay for stray pets.

State law says all humane societies must hold stray animals for at least seven days, but figuring out how to fund those animals is up to the shelter itself.

Marathon County Humane Society leaders are asking for the county to pay for strays beyond just the first seven days, but some say it comes at too high of a price.

Some are criticizing Marathon County for considering not to fund past the first seven days.

Newsline 9 contacted several other shelters in central Wisconsin, and only Vilas County receives money from the county on day eight and beyond for stray animals.

Of course, those stray animals account for a large number of pets at many humane societies. After the first seven days, stray animals become property of the humane society.

"On the eighth day of ownership then if the owner does not come forward, the humane society takes over the care for that animal and we work to adopt it out," said South Wood County Executive Director Bridget Chariton.

How to fund stray animals is different for each shelter. In Wood County, it depends where the stray is found.

"We have several large contracts with our larger townships, in which an annual amount is set and paid for at that time," said Chariton.

Wood County shelter leaders say they received $87,000 dollars last year from communities in the county. That money pays for the cats and dogs for the first seven days. After that, they're paid for by donations and fundraising.

"They are really helping care for the animal past that seven day mark," said Chariton.

Some communities don't like relying on contracts at all. In Clark County, shelters leader say they don't like to be limited to seven days.

"I'd hate to be under those constraints. If that was all the time we had to prep an animal all the way through, from intake to adoption ready, I don't think that's practical at all," said Clark County Humane Society Chuck Wegner said.

In the end, it's ultimately up to each humane society to decide how to fund stray animals. The only requirement by law is to keep them for at least seven days.

Humane society officials say getting your pet spayed or neutered will help keep the stray animal population down.

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