Monroe County OKs its side of animal control agreement with Bloomington

In 2022, the average cost of taking care of an animal at Bloomington’s animal shelter was about $269.

In the same year 1,380 animals that originated inside of Monroe County—but outside of Bloomington and the town of Ellettsville—were taken in at Bloomington’s shelter.

That translates into $371,220 that Monroe County government will pay the city of Bloomington to help cover the city shelter’s expenses in 2024.

The arrangement between Monroe County, the city of Bloomington, and the town of Ellettsville, is covered in an interlocal agreement that has used in for more than 15 years. That’s according to county attorney Jeff Cockerill, speaking at Wednesday’s regular meeting of the county commissioners.

It was at their Wednesday meeting when Monroe County commissioners approved their side of the agreement. Bloomington’s side of the deal will likely appear on a city council agenda before the end of the year.

The 95 animals originating from Ellettsville mean that the town’s amount owed to the city under the interlocal agreement is $25,555.

The formula for the payments is based on a count of each animal’s origin—inside the city limits, the town of Ellettsville, elsewhere in Monroe County, or outside of Monroe County.

The numbers are for the calendar year before the year when the contract is approved, so the 2024 contract is based on 2022 figures.

The total cost for shelter operations is divided by the total number of animals, to arrive at an average cost per animal. The average cost per animal is then multiplied by the number of animals originating in a given jurisdiction.

Monroe County’s amount of $371,220 reflects an average cost per animal of $269 for 1,380 animals

For 2022, that’s about the same number of animals that originated inside Bloomington city limits.

Over the last 12 years, the total number of animals taken in by the shelter hit a low of 2,905 in 2020, after nearly hitting 4,000 the year before, which was comparable to the higher levels seen in 2011 and 2012.

In 2021 and 2022 the total number of animals saw slight upticks, to 3,145 and 3,203, respectively.

According to statistics from Bloomington’s animal care and control division of the department of public works,  the shelter averaged around 400 euthanizations per year from 2014 through 2019. For the last three years, from 2020 to 2022, the average has dropped to 111 per year, hitting a low in 2022 of 85.