TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The City of Troy is now about seven days into its 30-day contract extension with the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, but it’s still more of the same. Neither side can come to an agreement yet on the proposed cost increase for the humane society to shelter Troy’s animal population under New York State law.
“We’ve had these agreements for many, many, many years,” explains Mohawk Hudson Humane CEO Ashley Jeffrey Bouck. “With the exception of Saratoga which has its own municipal shelter, we contract with much of the local area to fulfill their Department of Agriculture & Markets requirements.
Bouck says the shelter actually contracts with 20 different cities and towns across the Capital Region, and all of them got a steep price spike in their 2021 contract review. She also adds for most, this is the first financial change in more than 10 years.
“We have not been charging anywhere close to what it costs us to run the shelter. We’ve really been getting reimbursed at about $.10 on the dollar,” she explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.
Bouck says every other locality resigned their contracts — all except Troy. The two are now locked in fierce price negotiations.
Troy’s old contract was a flat rate for $66,150 a year. Bouck says a review of 2018 and 2019 shows Troy brought in an average 400 strays and animals surrendered during cruelty cases each year. That would leave about $165 per animal, and Bouck says that would barely cover food, water, and walks if the animals stayed for more than a few days.
“Taking into account the veterinary care that they receive, you know, they might need to get up-to-date on their vaccinations if they’re not up-to-date, if they have any medical (issues), so when you add in everything it takes to care for them, it all adds up,” she says.
The new contract proposal would charge Troy $99,100 for 2021 and a city representative says the draft also suggested an approximate $33,000 increase every year. Although he would not go on camera, the representative says that was not an amount Mayor Madden felt he could justify to taxpayers. Mohawk Hudson offered a temporary extension while details get hashed out.
“We will take care of the animals for right now, and this way if they decide to work with us or whatever the solution is at the end of the 30 days, they’ve got some more time to come up with a solution so again at the end of the day, the animals are cared for,” Bouck says.