Lower Saucon Township's proposed 2012 contract with the Center for Animal Health and Welfare--a Williams Township animal shelter that accepts stray pets from many local municipalities--was called "unsuitable" by township manager Jack Cahalan at council's Nov. 16 meeting.
Cahalan said the contract, which , includes new provisions that could be costly to the township.
In addition to an increased per-animal drop-off fee of $150, one of the provisions would no longer allow the township to limit the type of pet it pays to drop off at the shelter.
For the past five or six years, Cahalan said, the township has had a yearly agreement that specifies reimbursement for stray dogs only.
Under the new provision, however, "all animals could be dropped off," he said.
Another provision would allow individual residents to drop off stray animals, with the township receiving the bills in those instances.
"Someone can literally go up there under these provisions and drop 10 cats off and we'd be charged $1,500," Cahalan said.
Cahalan told council that the township is trying to negotiate different terms with the shelter, but said other options for dealing with strays are also being examined.
Council president Glenn Kern asked Cahalan if he knew why the terms had been changed so significantly, to which Cahalan responded, "I have no idea."
In response to the change in terms, he said, many other municipalities are currently re-evaluating their use of the Center for Animal Health and Welfare as a repository for stray pets.
"From what I'm hearing, the response (to the 2012 contract) is a resounding 'no' from all the municipalities," he said.