Currently, the management of lost and stray cats and dogs is done by the Joint Animal Control Municipal Services located on Theatre Road – generally called the “Shelter of Hope”. This facility and service is jointly managed and financed by Cobourg, Hamilton Township, Port Hope and Alnwick/Haldimand – the cost to Cobourg is $104,000 in 2021 or an average of $9.56 per household. But other municipalities pay an average of $4.82 to $4.63 per household and a recent KPMG report suggested Cobourg could save $40K per year. In addition, Cobourg staff felt that current performance was not satisfactory. The current agreement mandated 2 years notice and in February 2020, the Town gave notice that it would withdraw from the agreement. This of course meant that the Town would have to have an alternative way to provide the service.
Animal Control Services
Currently, Cobourg’s By-Law officers are enforcing Animal Control activities within the Town of Cobourg – that is, these services:
- Animal Welfare
- Dogs Running at large
- Dog Bite Legislation enforcement
- Dog Licensing
- Rabies Control
- Responsible Pet ownership
- Reuniting Lost Dogs with Owners.
When animals need to be housed they are currently sent to the “Shelter of Hope”. But when the current agreement terminates, there will still be the need to house animals. Well it turns out that the Northumberland Human Society (NHS) located at 371 Ward Street in Port Hope provides such a service and they quoted the Town of Cobourg $36,000 per year to do the following:
- Maintain a facility suitable for the housing of domestic animals, to be available to Town of Cobourg staff every day of the year;
- Provide housing and appropriate humane care and feeding of any domestic animal brought to NHS by Town staff;
- Provide appropriate and prompt veterinary care as may be required for all such animals;
- Make every effort to identify owner or guardianship of any stray animal and whenever possible return to the owner;
- If unable to identify ownership or if return of the animal is declined, cause the animal to be re homed or adopted after a minimum in the care of NHS of 72 hours; and
- Act as a resource for Town staff by providing advice and assistance as may be required relative to animal care
At the next Committee of the Whole Meeting, Council will be asked to approve awarding this work to NHS for 5 years (details in report in link below). The change would be effective October 1, 2021, and billing would begin on January 1, 2022. The fee would increase by a Cost of Living adjustment (inflation) each year.
The net cost savings to Cobourg is ($104K – $36K) $68K per year.