Forsyth County Government staff are taking steps to resume responsibility for the intake, care and redemption of dogs and cats at the Forsyth County Animal Shelter on April 1, 2023.
After months of negotiations, Forsyth Humane Society has so far declined Forsyth County Government’s final offer of $1.2 million for the organization's services at the Animal Shelter located at 5570 Sturmer Park Circle. The County is in the process of firming up details for its shelter operations, including whether it’ll be a separate department or an Animal Services division of an existing County department as in some other communities.
Forsyth County has contracted with the Humane Society since 2018 for the custody, care, intake and redemption of dogs and cats, and the maintenance of the assigned shelter space. The original compensation for the Humane Society was $510,714 with a 2 percent annual inflation adjustment. In 2020, the contract was renewed for $562,996 annually for five years
County Commissioners approved $603,286 for the Humane Society’s services this fiscal year, which began on July 1, 2022 and included half of a $23,429 inflationary adjustment requested by the organization. In October, the Humane Society requested to terminate its five-year agreement on December 31, 2022 unless the funds it received were raised to $1.85 million, which is an increase of 207 percent over what was included in this year’s budget.
After months of negotiations, in which the Humane Society lowered its request to $1.5 million, the commissioners agreed to make a final offer of $1.2 million, which was not accepted. Commissioners have approved a contract amendment to pay the Humane Society $375,000 to continue its services from Jan. 1 to March 31 of this year, after which the County will resume those services for dogs and cats at the shelter.
County Manager Dudley Watts stressed that “partnerships with animal welfare groups have always been and will continue to be critical in lowering the euthanization rate for adoptable dogs and cats. Strengthening and expanding those partnerships will be a priority as we resume operations of the animal shelter.”