On the ballot: Ontonagon County Animal Protection millage proposal

Western UP

ONTONAGON COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – The state general election is fast approaching with just one week away. One issue on the ballot in Ontonagon County is a millage proposal for its animal shelter.

Ontonagon County Animal Protection (OCAP) is a no-kill shelter and the only shelter in the county. The shelter has a yearly budget of $100,000. OCAP doesn’t have paid staff, it is all volunteer-based. With COVID-19, fundraisers can’t be held and donations are low.

“We raise our money, the $100,000, three different ways: donations, fundraisers, and millage,” said Janet Wolfe, a board member and cat coordinator for OCAP. “Now the millage would bring in $41,000. So you can see that’s not the full amount that we need. We’re not afraid to work for our money. So the millage, you can see how important it is. If we don’t get the millage we have no fundraising money, lower donations, and we have no millage. How are we gonna–we won’t be able to operate more than a few months.”

Wolfe said if the millage doesn’t pass and the shelter closes, she’s worried about what will happen if the animal’s owners are not identified in time.

“In the old days, there’s a stray hold period of four days. It’s the same now. Four-day stray hold on a dog or cat if there’s no identification. Seven days if they do have a chip or a collar or something. After that, if there’s nowhere for them to go, the sheriff’s office’s only option was to euthanize and they don’t want to do that and neither do we. The millage is critical right now. And if we get it I’m confident that we’ll come up with ways to make the rest because we’re dedicated. We really want to make this work.”

The OCAP millage is for the amount of 0 point 15 mills, or 15 cents per $1,000 taxable value for a period of four years (2021-2024).

Ontonagon County Animal Protection can be contacted on its Facebook or website.

If you want to know what will be on your ballot on Nov. 3, you can click here.

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