January 26, 1998 in Nation/World

Five-Year Spokanimal Contract Faces Council In Consolidation Move, Agency Would Both Round Up And House Strays

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Spokane’s stray pets no longer will be shuttled between two animal-control agencies if a plan before the City Council wins approval tonight.

Under a proposed five-year contract, SpokAnimal C.A.R.E. would round up and house the cats and dogs found running loose within the city limits.

SpokAnimal and the Spokane Humane Society have shared the duties in the past, with SpokAnimal doing the corraling and the Humane Society providing shelter.

“We decided it would be better if both were under one contract,” said Dave Mandyke, assistant city manager.

Last July, the city asked for bid proposals from the county’s three animal shelters.

SpokAnimal submitted the lowest bid at $110,000 a year. The Humane Society asked for $150,000 a year, with $160,000 in start-up costs. Spokane County Animal Control wanted $433,000 a year and $1.6 million upfront to expand its facilities.

Under the contract, the agency also would get all but $3 from every dog and cat license sold. The $3 would go back to the city to help pay for a free spaying and neutering program.

Licenses, which range from $7.50 to $23, would earn SpokAnimal about $320,000 a year.

The city gave SpokAnimal a three-month trial consolidated contract last fall. “We’ve been watching them, and they’ve been able to do it,” Mandyke said.

The contract also allows the city to cancel the agreement with 90 days’ notice. It also specifies that all SpokAnimal employees must receive annual training in public relations.

“We were getting a fair number of complaints about how animal-control people operated in the field,” Mandyke said.

Gail Mackie, SpokAnimal’s director, said that despite a tough 1997, the animal-control agency is tackling 1998 with a fresh outlook.

“Things are going really well. We’re heading in a positive direction now,” Mackie said.

Early last year, federal drug agents were investigating claims that an employee of the nonprofit agency had used an invalid identification number to obtain prescription drugs illegally.

No criminal charges were filed, but the government levied a $15,000 fine against SpokAnimal for shoddy record-keeping.

Also last year, nearly half the organization’s board of directors resigned.

Mackie said SpokAnimal recently made the last payment on the fine. It also has a new board.

The agency is expanding to make room for new kennels. It has hired seven new employees, including four new animal-control officers.

Also tonight, the council will consider giving SpokAnimal a $101,643 contract for the spaying and neutering program.

, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: MEETING A briefing for the council will begin at 3:30 p.m. today in the lower-level conference room of City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. The council meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

This sidebar appeared with the story: MEETING A briefing for the council will begin at 3:30 p.m. today in the lower-level conference room of City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. The council meeting will begin at 6 p.m.


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