SPCA Requiring a Funding Increase from City, County

Girl Kitten the FirstThe Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA wants more funding from Charlottesville and Albemarle and at least the city looks like they’re willing to play ball, Henry Graff reports for NBC-29. The city and the county maintain no animal shelter of their own, and instead outsource that to the SPCA. The contract that the group has with the city and the county brings in about $1.60 for the shelter, care, and feeding of every critter taken in by the group. In an open letter on their website (124k PDF) the SPCA says that the industry standard is between $4 and $7 per animal, and that they’ve unsuccessfully tried to get the municipalities to pay more for several years now. It’s time to renew that contract, and the SPCA says that they’re just not going to sign a deal unless it covers more of the real costs that accompany serving as the pound.

Worst case, the city and county have to start their own pound(s). More realistically, they agree to pay more, since that’s bound to be cheaper in the short or long run than operating a municipal pound.

04/06 Update: Councilor David Brown points out that this funding is per capita, not per animal. So it’s actually wrong to say that the SPCA gets $1.60 for each animal, unless the number of animals they process each year is equivalent the population of Charlottesville and Albemarle, which seems pretty unlikely. What that real per animal funding is, I don’t know, but suffice it to say that it remains significantly lower than the standard cited by the SPCA.

6 thoughts on “SPCA Requiring a Funding Increase from City, County”

  1. As an SPCA volunteer, I was shocked to learn that the shelter gets only about $1.60 per animal. Many of the cats come in with fleas, ear mites, ringworm, upper respiratory infections, worms, and that’s if they don’t have more serious injuries or illnesses. It’s very rare for me to look at a kitty’s vet history and only see the shots and spaying/neutering. And then many stay in the shelter for weeks or months and get sick all over again. I don’t know what kind of arrangements the SPCA has to pay its vets. I’m sure they must get some kind of discount, but regardless, the city and county are getting a steal here.

    The $5 per animal that Suzanne Kogut mentioned in her email that went out recently seems reasonable. If you want to write City County or the BOS, her suggested language is “I support fair compensation in accordance with industry standards ($5 per capita) to the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA to enable the SPCA to continue providing pound services to our community.”

  2. I can’t imagine how expensive it would be for Albemarle to set up a pound for stray and abandoned animals having lived at the edge of the county towards Lousia where animals were often left abandoned by out of state (I hoped) hunters and people couldn’t afford spaying and thus had many litters nad may not have had the means to get in to SPCA free spay days or known about them given how little attention and services Albemarle County gives to that area. I once called the cops about a very scary truck driver and the policeman who answered said that he thought maybe they should start doing some patrols out my way again! People who live there pay the same taxes but don’t even have access to Jaunt for medical appointments, which is why I had to move closer to the city. It’s time for the Albemarle BOS to step up and start serving the entire county, country and suburban alike including providing access to information about help with taking care of pets and the very least they can do is pay their fair share to our award winning SPCA.

  3. Just want to point out that the numbers being talked about – “industry standards” – are per capita numbers, not per animal, and are estimated for the current contribution, since the agreement in place since 2003 is per animal.

  4. Thank you—that’s an essential distinction that I was lacking. When NBC-29 used the phrase “per capita,” it seemed reasonable that meant “per animal,” rather than “per citizen.” Now I have to wonder how that works out per animal.

  5. How is the city going to fund anything else after having spent $7 million dollars on a truckload of bricks? :)

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