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County's cat cost controversy discussed Thursday


WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) -  What is Marathon County going to do about the cost of impounding cats? We don’t know yet.

Marathon County realizes this is an expensive problem, and the state only requires counties to pay for impounding dogs seven days, but has no requirements for cat care. Since laws are different for licensing cats and dogs, it leaves the county with little revenue to take care of them.

The County Board heard input from their members and ten supporters of county funding for cat impoundment at the Humane Society of Marathon County. By law, the county cannot charge for a cat license, but other governmental units like cities, towns, and villages can. The resolution being considered by the County Board is to have those local governments arrange their own cat contract with the humane society.

Linda Berner-Karger from the Humane Society of Marathon County believes contracting separately with towns and villages would not be the best decision.  "I think it's going to be a more difficult solution.  The municipalities, I don't believe, are set up to handle that and I really think that there needs to be county oversight for a problem like this in the community.”

A few of the board members indicated they would not vote next Tuesday for the resolution cutting off humane society funding for cats after they’re impounded seven days. Board member Matt Powers thinks a Tuesday vote is too soon, and that more work needs to be done on this issue.

This funding issue deals with impounded cats that have been captured and brought to the shelter. It does not affect animals that are surrendered to the shelter by their owners.