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SPCA seeks town funds for cruelty investigations

— A new contract offered to local towns could decide the SPCA’s involvement in local animal cruelty investigations.

The contract asks each town in Onondaga County to pay 9 cents per resident in exchange for the SPCA’s assistance with animal cruelty situations and investigations.

By the Numbers

Camillus — $2,175

Cicero — $2,846

Clay — $5,238

DeWitt — $2,325

Elbridge — $533

Geddes —$1,540

Lysander — $1,958

Manlius — $2,913

Marcellus — $559

Onondaga — $2,079

Skaneateles — $648

Spafford — $152

Syracuse — $10,162

Van Buren — $1,087

Total for Onondaga County — $39,084

The contract is new for 2012 in an effort to restore about $40,000 lost in county revenue last year, said Paul Morgan, executive director of the CNY SPCA. Previously, the county would extend $60,000 in profits from the dog licensing fees to the SPCA for three main services — cruelty investigations, rabies clinics and educational programs.

However, the state Department of Agriculture removed dog licensing from the state’s responsibilities, leaving all licensing in the hands of town clerks. This move removed profits made from licensing from the county’s budget, voiding the county’s contract with the SPCA.

For 2012, it is expected for the county to provide between $20,000 and $30,000 to the SPCA for rabies clinics and handling rabid animals and educational programs. The county will not be supporting the SPCA in cruelty investigations, Morgan said.

“We reached out to all the municipalities and said ‘we want to provide our services to you, but we need your help,’” Morgan said.

If the town or city does not sign the contract for 9 cents per person — amounts ranging from $152 in Spafford to $10,162 in Syracuse — the SPCA will cease their cruelty assistance in those municipalities.

“This is going to help make up what we are going to be losing, but there’s no guarantee,” Morgan said.

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