Brevard County Animal Services Department Daily Budget: $9,092 - But Won't Remove Raccoons
Many Brevard County residents are angry at the Brevard County Animal Services Department because it refuses to remove nuisance raccoons. Residents who have called the B.C.A.S.D. for raccoon removal are told that they should hire a private trapper at their own expense which in most cases is above $200 for removal.
This policy has left Brevard County residents asking, "What are we paying taxes for?" Here is a breakdown of where the taxpayer money goes:
The B.C.A.S.D. has a budget of $3,318,735. About 2/3 of that budget is paid from the County's general revenue fund, while the remaining 1/3 comes from fines, fees, and other payments. The 2011 Fiscal Year Budget for the B.C.A.S.D. shows that 70.56% of the entire budget goes to employee compensation and benefits.
The main functions of the B.C.A.S.D. are the capture of stray domestic animals, handling animal neglect cases, dangerous dogs, and responding to animal bite calls.
The B.C.A.S.D. projects to handle 36,000 service calls (only 75% of which receive the response of an officer) and 16,984 strays cared for this year. This breaks down to a daily average of 73 service calls responded to by an officer and 46.5 strays cared for on a daily budget of $9,092.
Nearly half of the B.C.A.S.D.'s budget goes to capturing and caring for domesticated animals. The average cost per animal in care is $83.84. When that figure is multiplied by the projected 16,984, the total becomes $1,423,938.56 projected for this year alone.
Expensive Phone Calls:
While all government agencies are infamous for "passing the buck" or saying "not my department," the average cost per phone call for the B.C.A.S.D. is $14.84, of which only 75% receive a response from an officer.
Residents who are upset by the B.C.A.S.D.'s "no nuisance raccoon pickup policy" should complain directly to their Brevard County Commissioners about the funding priorities of the department rather than calling the department directly, because it only raises telephone costs to the taxpayers even more.
The B.C.A.S.D. plans on paying $7,650 this year on travel costs for just a handful of its employees to attend training seminars, conferences, and meetings.
What Can A Brevard County Resident Do When They Have A Nuisance Raccoon?
Well, if you were planning on buying or renting a trap, then releasing the animal somewhere else - think again.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's website:
"if the raccoon is trapped, it must either be released on the same piece of property where it was captured, or it must be humanely destroyed. It is unlawful to relocate nuisance-wildlife in Florida. Relocating wildlife is seldom biologically sound, and the animal often does not survive."
The FWC does say, however, that "it is lawful for landowners to humanely destroy or live-trap nuisance raccoons without a permit from the FWC."