OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - There were expectations that a partnership of more than 20 years between the city of Opelika and a local animal group could have been dissolved Tuesday, but that didn't happen.
Instead, Opelika City Council decided not to vote on the proposal to terminate the $80,000 contract with the Lee County Humane Society at Tuesday night's meeting.
Now, both sides will meet to discuss possible changes to the current contract. The Lee County Humane Society's president calls it "encouraging and hopeful news," and says she's thankful for community support.
Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller recently said he wanted to explore a new way of handling strays for one year - perhaps saving money by paying two Opelika veterinarians to do the job.
In 2013, Lee County paid the shelter almost $128,000 to take in strays. In 2014 the county cut costs by 22 percent by paying the two Opelika vets around $99,000 to handle strays.
Since October of last year, the two vets took in 1,041 county animals - 73 percent were euthanized, 10 percent were adopted. At the Humane Society, 81 percent of animals are adopted, returned to owners or sent to no-kill shelters.
We'll keep you updates on what the city of Opelika decides about how it will handle stray animals in the near future.