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Colfax joins Dunn County Humane Society

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  —  Although it’s only until the end of the year, the Colfax Village Board has approved a contract with the Dunn County Humane Society.

Josh Dalton, Executive Director of the Dunn County Humane Society, presented the contract at the village board’s July 25 meeting.

DCHS is at the end of the two-year contract cycle, so the contract with Colfax would end on December 31, Dalton said.

The contract amount of $764.64 was calculated at a rate of $1.63 per capita, he said.

The DCHS contract means that residents in the village of Colfax can turn in stray dogs and cats to the humane society without having to pay the intake fee for the animals.

When an animal is turned in to DCHS, the shelter must wait four days to see if the owner claims it. If the owner does not claim the animal, and the dog or cat has not been spayed or neutered, DCHS will arrange for the surgery and for vaccinations before the animal is adopted to a new home, Dalton said.

The Dunn County Humane Society is a no-kill shelter.

DCHS is known as a “repository” for animals, so if an animal is lost, “the calls come to us,” he said.

About 60 percent of the dogs that come to DCHS are claimed by their owners while 40 percent are not. Only about 1 percent of cats that come to DCHS are claimed by their owners, Dalton said.

Dalton noted that DCHS does not do “trap and release” in which the animal is trapped, is spayed or neutered and vaccinated, and then is turned loose again.

“We don’t do trap and release. We do not release them back to (the municipality),” he said.

When cats are adopted out to a new home, the contract specifies “indoors only,” Dalton said.

Colfax has a significant number of unwanted and feral cats in the village.

“The end goal several years down the road is to have fewer stray animals so the services (of the Dunn County Humane Society) would not be as necessary,” Dalton said.

Similar sized municipalities typically turn in 15 to 20 cats per year, he said.

Colfax Police Chief William Anderson said he had researched police department records and discovered 35 case numbers over the past two years where the animal could have gone to the humane society.

“That’s just the case numbers. The number of people we have talked to about it is probably double that number,” the police chief said.

Village Trustee Casey Rihn wondered if DCHS provided live traps.

Dalton said that the humane society does have live traps available.

The person using the live trap pays a deposit on it, and when the live trap is brought back, the person receives the deposit back, he said.

Several village board members wondered about police officers transporting the animals to DCHS.

Dalton said the humane society encourages people who find the animals to bring them in themselves, if they can do so safely.

“We recommend that citizens do it, especially considering limited resources for law enforcement,” he said.

The Dunn County Humane Society also could license the animals for Colfax, Dalton said, noting that DCHS already licenses animals for the City of Menomonie.

“This is at the end of the contract cycle, so this is the time to jump in and see how it works,” Dalton said.

At the end of December, Colfax will receive another contract for a two-year period, and at that point the village board will have to decide if the contract should be renewed for two years.

Village Trustee Keith Burcham wondered which account the money would come from for the humane society contract.

The fee can be paid out of the undesignated fund balance, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer.

Scott Gunnufson, village president, suggested that when the budget is being developed for 2017, a certain amount of money could be appropriated for animal control.

The Colfax Village Board approved the humane society contract on a vote of five “yes” to one “no.”

Gunnufson and village trustees Dave Wolff, Annie Schieber, Rihn and Burcham voted “yes.”

Village Trustee Mark Halpin voted “no” on the motion.

Village Trustee Carey Davis was absent from the meeting.

Other business 

In other business, the Colfax Village Board:

• Approved a request for Colfax Police Chief William Anderson for Wisconsin Incident Based Reporting training August 24 and August 25 at Chippewa Valley Technical College.

• Approved a bartender operator’s license for McKenzie Parker from July 25, 2016, to June 30, 2017 (A Little Slice of Italy).

• Approved a temporary Class “B”/ “Class B” retailer’s license for the Colfax Woman’s Club for the Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center’s annual pig roast on August 5.

• Approved a temporary  Class “B”/ “Class B” retailer’s license for the Colfax Softball Association for a kickball tournament at Tom Prince Memorial Park on August 6.

• Approved a temporary  Class “B”/ “Class B” retailer’s license for the Colfax Commercial Club for the Colfax Founder’s Day Main Street Block Party on August 6 and 7 on Main Street.

• Approved a domesticated chicken license July 25, 2016, to June 30, 2017, for Michael Kiekhafer.

• Approved a transient merchant license for July 1 to September 30 for Jeremy Untz and Joel Helminiak, representatives of Edward Jones.

• Approved a transient merchant license for July 1 to September 30 for Zan Wang, China King Inc., Panda Garden Chinese food truck.

• Approved a street use permit for the Colfax Commercial Club for the August 6 street dance to detour Main Street from state Highway 170 to Cedar Country Cooperative. Local traffic will be allowed to Express Mart.

• Approved a revision to ordinance 10-1-29 on parking limits to include a two-hour parking limit on the south side of River Street between state Highway 40/Main Street and the alley to the east of property at 310 River Street.