Facing even higher costs if the city had to manage the service on its own, Warren City Council approved a $6,000 contribution to the Paws Along the River Humane Society during Monday night's special meeting on the proposed 2013 budget.
All of the city's annual contributions were brought to a vote during the session.
"Animal control, that's pretty important," council vice president Maurice Cashman said.
Councilman Sam Harvey asked if the city has a contract with the Humane Society to provide animal control services.
Cashman said, "If we didn't give them the $6,000, they would do it, but not do it as efficiently. It is a service."
When asked about the value of the Humane Society, Police Chief Raymond Zydonik said it is "extremely important. If we don't have a viable humane society, we're going to be mandated ourselves to collect animals."
That would entail a "kennel system we will have to maintain," including costs associated with feeding and caring for animals. He noted that Paws Along the River is "an extremely valuable resource."
Harvey asked whether the county or the state have any animal control.
"There is a state warden out there," Zydonik said, adding that person is responsible for covering Warren and Forest counties. "(It's) hit or miss whether she will reach out to you."
As for Paws Along the River, Zydonik said, "I would say we're the main contributor versus population," citing 15 incidents of lost animals and 41 incidents of stray animals that have been reported to the department this year to date.
"We certainly use the resource," he said. "Other townships also utilize them. I certainly would hate to see them go away."
Councilman Christopher Park said that the proposed $6,000 contribution is "close to a per capita for Warren County. That would be the city's cost per capita."
The motion to approve the funding allocation was passed in a 6-1 vote with Harvey voting against it.