Citing significant cost savings, both South Whitehall and North Whitehall chose to award their animal control contracts to The Sanctuary at Haafsville instead of the Lehigh County Humane Society, but North Whitehall appears to have the better deal.
In South Whitehall, the Humane Society bid $10,200 for a 2013 annual contract and The Sanctuary bid $6,000. In North Whitehall, The Sanctuary is charging $50 to collect cats and $100 for dogs.
North Whitehall supervisors didn't even consider a bid from the Humane Society this year. Three years ago, North Whitehall opted for The Sanctuary, based in Upper Macungie, when the Humane Society upped its annual bid to $7,400.
Last year, South Whitehall had a but decided to end it without giving a reason at the time. It was explained later that the Sanctuary was not yet state-certified.
Before choosing not to renew its contract with the Humane Society in 2011, South Whitehall had relied on the Humane Society for animal control services for 19 years.
North Whitehall Secretary Treasurer Brenda Norder said licensing wasn't an issue for North Whitehall. The lack of license required animals to be housed in Berks County for 48 hours.
South Whitehall Commissioner David Bonds balked at the fees during the December meeting when the board approved The Sanctuary's bid.
"It’s a tremendous cost and almost 50 percent are claimed by owners. Why are we paying for that?" Bond asked.
Both townships estimated about 20 - 30 strays were picked up last year - making North Whitehall's deal much less expensive.