Below is County Board candidate Ersel Schuster’s example III of IV –
“Veterinary Public Health,”
division of the McHenry County Department of Health as presented to the county board in
“A Document Proposing Reductions for McHenry County Government.”
This installment is the third of four examples where reductions and/or elimination in county services could be realized in the McHenry County Health Dept.
Yet again, your county board members remain silent.
To obtain any of the Reference Documents, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Indicate which of those documents you would like.
Installment V – THREE (3) of FOUR (4) HEALTH DEPARTMENT – SAMPLE RECOMMENDATIONS:
VETERINARY PUBLIC HEALTH (Animal control/adoption):
Funded By: General Fund
FUNCTION (Attachment D): “Veterinary Public Health (Animal Control & Adoption): Provides rabies control through rabies vaccination and registration. Provides education to minimize the potential for bites inflicted. Enforces state and local laws regarding rabies vaccination and registration of dogs. Provides security to residents from annoyance, intimidation and injury from dogs and other animals by enforcing state and county laws pertaining to cruelty, nuisance and stray animals. Provides temporary shelter for stray, abandoned and unwanted animals. Investigates livestock claims and provides education to promote responsible pet ownership.”
CONTROLLING STATUTE: According to the most recent “Program Description” page of the 2013 Health Department Budget (Attachment E), there is no “controlling statute” referenced for the division of Veterinary Public Health.
PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (Attachment D):
Animal Control-Dogs Registered
- 2013 – 57,450
- 2014 – 58,000
- 2015 – 58,000
- 2013 – 540
- 2014 – 500
- 2015 – 500
Animal Control-Volunteer Hours
- 2013 – 5,987
- 2014 – 6,000
- 2015 – 6,000
NUMBER OF DIVISION EMPLOYEES: 18.9 – This excludes volunteers under the “Animal Shelter Fund.”
OVERVIEW of the Division:
Over the years, county boards have wrestled with the question of whether or not to privatize the Animal Control Division of the Health Department.
Numerous issues and problems have caused these discussions to be a concern for all McHenry County taxpayers. Among these concerns are the following:
a. Animal Adoption Center
- Several private animal adoption programs exist in the county and members of this community have been eager to take these animals.
b. Veterinary Community
- McHenry County Veterinarian services are supported and subsidized by tax dollars and/or fees, undermine the private veterinary community.
- Shifting these services, currently provided by county government to the business community, promotes the private providers and local economic development.
c. Problems plaguing
Enforcement of the County Animal
- For as long as the division of Animal Control has been in existence, Ordinance enforcement and public discontent with the division has been a problem.
- Public perception is that the division does not fulfill its obligations in protecting the public from dangerous and nuisance animals. This has all too often caused people, to their own detriment, to take issues into their own hands in protecting their families and properties.
- Attached are a few examples (Attachment J; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) based on personal experiences.
- Most recently, another “dog” issue is playing out in western McHenry County. This incident is not unusual and it exemplifies the distrust residents have with this division. The attached document (Attachment J 1a & 1b), spells out the full sequence of events in this case.
- Recapping the incident: in this particular case, had Animal Control taken the 2 pit bull dogs in question into custody when they were first called, a second attack on another neighbor would not have occurred. In the first case a family dog was attacked by 2 dogs. This attack occurred in front of witnesses. The family dog incurred several thousand dollars in veterinarian fees and services. In the second case, an offending dog tore a 10 pound poodle from a woman’s arms and proceeded to trying to kill it. In this instance, a woman and a man suffered wounds while working to rescue the poodle.
- At stake is the potential for the department being accused of negligence in their actions. Ultimately, residents of McHenry County could be faced with a large liability case.
- A complete review of the division and how their lack of action in such instances, puts county residents at risk.
- Identify the populations/locations served by this division.
- Identify the mechanism used to qualify those clients who may require subsidies for services provided by the county’s Veterinary Public Health/Animal Control Division.
- It is suggested that the animal adoption center should be spun off to existing private adoption centers.
- Veterinarian services should be handled by local veterinarians.
- Contract with private business for the collection of problem animals.
- Reduce animal control to a record keeping center; a call center; and referral service
- These actions would reduce the cost of county personnel, equipment, buildings and maintenance costs.
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Other candidates for the County Board are invited to submit policy suggestions, as well as press releases announcing their candidacies or campaign activities. Pictures are encouraged.