OXFORD — Selectmen voted Thursday to join other Oxford Hills towns in using the services of a Norway animal shelter in place of the Allen Hill Animal Shelter, which closed its doors in March.
Town Manager Michael Chammings said the contract with Responsible Pet Care of Oxford Hills will cost the town $1 per capita, which comes to about $4,200 based on the 2010 Census.
The money covers impound fees for dogs brought in as stray, abandoned or roaming at large. The dogs will be housed either at Responsible Pet Care in Norway or the Kanine Kare Doggie Day Care on Main Street in Paris.
It does not cover veterinary needs. Pet owners will be billed for any necessary procedures conducted, according to the municipal agreement. Sick or badly injured animals left with the shelter are subject for transport to an animal hospital.
Any dog not claimed after a holding period that is determined safe for adoption will be transferred to the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society in Lewiston or the Harvest Hills Animal Shelter in Bridgton.
Chammings said the shelter was the least expensive option. Responsible Pet Care formerly housed felines only, but entered a partnership with Kanine Kare after Allen Hill closed.
The budget was still being written when the Allen Hill shelter closed. According to Chammings, he had budgeted about $4,300 for animal control, not knowing how the town would house stray animals going forward.
He called the figure in the proposed budget “a wild guess.”
“The wild guess paid off, I guess,” Chammings said. He said not signing a year-long agreement would cost $30 per night for each animal.
Chammings said it’s “almost cheaper to put someone up” in a motel room with General Assistance funds than to house a dog for a night.
Selectmen unanimously agreed to a one-year agreement with Responsible Pet Care.