Council votes to keep Marshfield stray hold at seven days
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — At its Aug. 9 meeting, the Marshfield Common Council voted to retain the current hold policy of seven days for stray animals.
The request to change the policy from seven to four days was brought forth by the Finance, Budget, & Personnel Committee following a change in Wisconsin statutes that reduced the seven-day hold to four days.
“They left it at the discretion of each municipality, if they were going to follow it or not,” explained Alderman Gordy Earll. “It wasn’t mandatory.
“The ordinance control officers wrote a letter that they were opposed to it. It wasn’t adequate. The pet shelter too feels that it isn’t adequate.”
A motion was brought forward to leave the seven-day hold time for a period of one year, after which the matter would be readdressed.
The motion was followed by discussion on why the state law had changed.
“I think they want to expedite moving animals toward adoption,” stated City Administrator Steve Barg. “There are some shelters that may be ready to move into that phase earlier.”
“We are contracting with (Marshfield Area Pet Shelter) to take care of these animals on our behalf for the required period of time we have to hold the animals via statute,” stated Alderman Ed Wagner. “For that we pay them — I think the number is $7 a day.
“So basically, for every cat they pick up and hold for seven days, we are paying the shelter $49 for its care and feeding.”
Allowed to address the board, Marshfield Area Pet Shelter President Karen Rau cited a need for the additional funds as well as time in handling the strays.
“We are hard-working volunteers, and we are trying to get our wits about us,” said Rau. “We’ve only been in this building for less than a year. We have only taken over the cats at this point.
“We’re working hard to get the dogs. We recently got our kennel approval through the state of Wisconsin. We’d like to work on getting the dogs, but every setback like this is going to set our volunteers back.”
In a 6 to 3 vote, with council members Alanna Feddick, Rebecca Spiros, and Wagner voting against, the motion was passed to allow the hold period to remain at seven days for the upcoming year.