Humane Society signs lease deal for Massena site

The Massena Humane Society and town of Massena have signed a lease agreement for the town-owned parcel where the shelter sits. Bob Beckstead/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — The Massena Humane Society will be staying at its current town-owned location on the South Racquette Road for some time.

Massena Town Supervisor Steven D. O’Shaughnessy told Massena Town Board members that a lease agreement between the town and the Massena Humane Society runs from Jan. 1, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2032. The current two-year contract with the Humane Society expires at the end of the year.

“It’s the same language we’ve had with them,” he said.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Massena Humane Society will continue to pay $1 a year for the property where the organization’s shelter is located.

The building that houses stray and abandoned animals is owned by the Massena Humane Society. The organization also owns an addition of about 100 feet by 100 feet that’s currently being constructed. Construction of any addition to the building must be approved by the Town Board before the start of any work.

The Massena Humane Society is responsible for paying all taxes, assessments and utilities related to the building. The organization is also responsible for providing the town with proof of public liability and property damage insurance with limits of not less than $1 million bodily injury person per accident, and $100,000 for property damage.

If the Massena Humane Society becomes inactive or if the lease expires or is terminated, the building and any additions constructed on the property become town property.

The town of Massena contracts with the Massena Humane Society for the animal shelter for $10,000 per quarter. The payment is made on or before Jan. 31, April 30, July 31 and Oct. 31 for a total of $40,000. That contribution is for the expense the Massena Humane Society incurs for operating the shelter for any dangerous dogs, lost, stray or homeless dogs and cats. The Massena Humane Society provides a detailed financial report each quarter before payment is issued.

The town also pays $13,500 for animal control to handle dog complaints and pick up strays. That is a separate contract.

In addition to serving Massena, the Massena Humane Society contracts with the towns of Louisville, Norfolk, Dickinson, Brandon and Waverly to provide sheltering services for their homeless animals.

Adoptable animals are posted on the Massena Humane Society’s website at

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