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2005 Media Releases

May 26, 2005
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831

Mayor Says New Relationship With Humane Society Will Benefit Community

Mayor Coleen J. Seng today thanked the Capital Humane Society for its partnership with the City in dealing with Lincoln’s animal population. The Humane Society announced earlier today that as of June 1, 2006, it will no longer provide shelter to stray animals picked up by Lincoln Animal Control, a division of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. Mayor Seng said she is supportive of the new focus chosen by the Humane Society, which will continue to seek homes for pets picked up by Animal Control.

“I was aware that the Society had been reviewing how it was achieving its main mission of animal adoption,” said Mayor Seng. “I think the Society’s decision is a good one because its expertise is animal adoption. Director Bob Downey told me that handling the increasing volume of animal enforcement for the City and animal adoptions in the same facility has stretched the resources of the Humane Society staff and building beyond capacity. The partnership between the Humane Society and Animal Control has reduced the number of unwanted animals and resulted in the adoption of thousands of pets into Lincoln families.”

Seng said Downey told her that the living wage issue and earlier discussions regarding the contract were not factors in the Humane Society’s decision. “It is my understanding that the Society looked at its core mission and decided to focus on the adoption of animals rather than contract with the Health Department to also participate in animal control enforcement.” Seng said the Humane Society has been submitting claims for the services provided this year, and the City has been paying them. That will continue until the transition is complete.

Seng said the City and the Humane Society will work together to separate the animal control enforcement from animal adoption by June 2006. The Health Department has been looking into alternatives for a few months since the City became aware of the Society’s interest in focusing more on animal adoptions. Seng said the Health Department will create a transition plan to ensure that the new relationship continues to protect public health and animal safety.

“Lincoln is committed to the humane treatment of our animal population,” said Mayor Seng. “The work of the Humane Society has protected the health, safety and welfare of our community, and we are fortunate that this organization has such a strong and positive vision for the future of our animal population. More pets will find homes, and that is good for our entire community.”

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