Clinton Council can’t override Humane Society veto

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A City Council meeting has left many questions about how Clinton, Iowa, will handle stray animals. Mayor Mark Vulich recently vetoed the city's contract with the Humane Society, and Tuesday, the City Council failed to override his decision.

Dozens turned out for the meeting, with some actually standing and watching from downstairs because there was no room left in the Council Chambers.

The resolution on the table would have nearly doubled the city's funding to the Humane Society, raising the amount from $65,000 to $120,000. The Humane Society has said the increase would be necessary to keep them from going bankrupt.

Mayor Vulich vetoed that proposal on February 4, saying the numbers don't add up. Since then, the Humane Society has stopped accepting strays from city residents. Tuesday, the City Council voted 4-3 to pass the resolution, falling one vote short of the needed 2/3 majority to override the veto.

The Council also voted down an agreement between All Pets Mobile Clinic and the city for the impoundment of animals. That contract with a local veterinarian would have made arrangements for dogs brought in by the Animal Control Officer.

Sandi Bartels, Humane Society operations manager, said she left the meeting feeling dejected.

"I don't know what they were thinking. The animals will suffer. They have absolutely no place to go. There's 6,000 cats in this town, what are they going to do? What are they going to do?" asked Bartels.

The council also failed to pass a third resolution, which would have created a committee to review the service agreement between the city and the Humane Society.

The Humane Society, though, insisted it won't shut it's doors, and that this isn't the end.

"We'll have to regroup, and we'll do whatever we can to help the animals in this city," said Bartels.

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