LOGAN (News4Utah) – The City of Logan is left without an animal shelter after a disagreement over funding with the Cache Humane Society.
Stray and lost animals apprehended in the City of Logan were housed at the Cache Humane Society through a contract between the two entities. In 2016, the non-profit organization became a no-kill shelter.
Stacey Frisk, the executive director of Cache Humane Society, said they serve an average of 2,000 animals annually and over the last two years, their costs have increased by 20 percent.
“We approached Logan City back in May with a firm analysis of where we were going to need to go to stay a no-kill shelter and they were not comfortable with that additional cost,” said Frisk.
Frisk said she and multiple other staff members were told they would be included in the Logan city council agenda on July 17th to discuss their financial concerns, but that didn’t happen. She said the next day, they were presented with a different proposal that would reduce their funding by 30 percent.
“We could not in good conscious accept a contract that would require us to reduce our standard of care,” said Frisk.
Chief Gary Jensen with the Logan City Police Department acknowledged their proposal would have reduced the shelter’s funding, but said they also wanted to present an additional option that would bring in more money.
“What we proposed is a lump sum value to what we would pay them other than what would be built on an individual animal basis. We wanted to pay a lump sum and give the Cache Humane Society the opportunity to charge fees that before we were charging,” said Chief Jensen. “The lump sum value is about $4,000 less than what they got last year. But the potential that they had to gaining fees put them about $8,000 more than they ever received from Logan City before. So that was well beyond the 20 percent they were anticipating increasing their fees. We felt like it was a really responsible and good offer to them.”
He said the partnership between the city and the humane society ended when the shelter purposely locked their animal control officers out of the facility.
“At some point, their board met and the next thing we understood, without any communication, doors were locked and locks were changed and they were no longer doing business with us,” said Jensen. “It was very abrupt. In a typical contract negotiation, if you don’t like something in your contract, you negotiate your position. It’s what we would’ve expected but that didn’t happen.”
Frisk said that’s not true. She showed News4Utah surveillance footage of animal control officers coming into the shelter on July 25th and 26th, dates she said officers claimed they were locked out.
“We made sure there were punch code boxes with new keys for all law enforcement officers, ready to go…days in advance. We notified animal control and all other jurisdictions about that change,” said Frisk. “We have been in negotiations for 3 months and we had all agreed on a deadline that this would go before city council to determine if our funding request was amenable to our city leaders and we were never given that opportunity. So I think we did negotiate in good faith for months.”
Nonetheless, both the city and shelter are moving forward on their own.
“We were holding empty kennels here exclusively for Logan City PD while turning away desperate families looking for a safe place to surrender their pets,” said Frisk. “We are now able to take in more animals from members of our community and believe through this process, we’ll be able to save even more.”
She said as far as funding, the shelter will work with its community partners and financial supporters to make things work.
Meanwhile, Logan City Police Department are housing their stray and lost animals in kennels at their station.
“It appears today that we may have a contract with another facility. Still, that’s a temporary fix to a long term problem. We anticipate utilizing this potential other partner to get us through this rough spot that we’re in and then we’ll likely look at building our own facility,” said Chief Jensen.