Does the County Board think that just because they make a resolution it makes it legal?
Below is information on potential illegal transfers of funds from Animal Control to the county general fund.
This happened at a county board meeting in September 2011.
It has come to my attention that the Edgar County Board has, in September of this year, transferred funds in the amount of $10,000 from the “Animal Control Rabies Fund”.
A. I believe this to be a violation of the Animal Control Act for the two following reasons:
1. It’s not the first Monday in March – the only date in which transfers are authorized.
2. Transferring to the General Fund will not put the money to use for “other costs of the program as set forth in the Animal Control Act”.
3. The county has no ordinance (that can be located) establishing a schedule for damages reflecting the current market value.
B. It has also come to my attention that the Edgar County Board has transferred funds in the amount of $5000 from the “Dog Fund”, which I think would be this Pet Population Control Fund stated below.
(510 ILCS 92/45)
Sec. 45. Pet Population Control Fund. The Pet Population Control Fund is established as a special fund in the State treasury. The moneys generated from the public safety fines collected as provided in the Animal Control Act, from Pet Friendly license plates under Section 3‑653 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, from Section 507EE of the Illinois Income Tax Act, and from voluntary contributions must be kept in the Fund and shall be used only to sterilize and vaccinate dogs and cats in this State pursuant to the program, to promote the sterilization program, to educate the public about the importance of spaying and neutering, and for reasonable administrative and personnel costs related to the Fund.
(Source: P.A. 94‑639, eff. 8‑22‑05.)
Animal Control Act:
The County Treasurer shall, on the first Monday in March of each calendar year, pay to the owner of the animals or poultry the amount of damages to which he or she is entitled. The county board, by ordinance, shall establish a schedule for damages reflecting the current market value.
If there are funds in excess of amounts paid for such claims for damage in that portion of the Animal Control Fund set aside for this purpose, this excess shall be used for other costs of the program as set forth in this Act.
(Source: P.A. 93‑548, eff. 8‑19‑03.)
Email response I received from the treasurer when I questioned the transfers:
The transfers were as follows:
Animal Control Rabies Fund #814 to General Fund in the amount of $10,000.00
Dog Fund #813 to General Fund in the amount of $5,000.00.
The board authorized it by resolution is the only way I know to answer the “by what authority”.
As to defining “other costs,etc.” , I do not know the Board’s interpretation of the Act or the justification/intent of the transferred monies.
When I talked to Mark Earnst, State Veterinarian, Bureau of Animal health and Welfare,
Illinois Department Of Agriculture about these transfers, he stated his opinion that transfers
of these funds into the county general fund were not lawfull according to the Animal Welfare Act,
Animal Control Act, and the Humane Care for Animals Act.
The only remaining question is what do we do about it?