Moose Jaw dogs

The Moose Jaw Humane Society's Facebook page raises concerns about what will happen to the city's stray dogs after Dec. 31. (Facebook)

Stray dogs in Moose Jaw will soon be picked up by the city, rather than the Humane Society — leading some to wonder what will happen to the animals.

For months, the two sides have been embroiled in a dispute over the costs of the service.

The Humane Society says it was heavily subsidizing the cost of picking up and caring for stray dogs and it wanted more money from the city.

The city says it offered more money, but not as much as the Humane Society wanted. The switch to city control happens Jan. 1.

The Moose Jaw Humane Society is considered a no-kill facility. Under a recently approved bylaw amendment, the city can euthanize dogs after five days.

"We are currently sitting with 12 dogs and over 64 cats that have been brought in as strays," the agency said on its Facebook page. "These 76 animals have all stayed for more than the five day hold. Take a look of these animals. Today they are safe. Come January 1st they will not be."

City manager Matt Noble said it's an emotional issue for everyone.    
"Most of us here are pet owners," he said. "Unfortunately what's happening is the pets are being used as bargaining chips."

Noble added that despite the five-day rule the city will try to find a rescue shelter to take the animals after that.
However, if it can't find a place for them, the dogs will be put down.