The Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service will add 25 jobs to prepare for its transition to animal control provider for the city, which starts next year.
Next week, recruiters from the county and SCRAPS will answer employment questions at the site of the organization’s new $4 million regional center at 6815 E. Trent Ave. The county purchased the 30,000-square-foot former motorcycle dealership this year, and the group hopes to open the center early in 2014.
Final renovation designs were just approved and construction will begin in September, SCRAPS Director Nancy Hill said Wednesday. The construction window means the group will operate animal control services for the city out of its existing facility, a 40-year-old office in Spokane Valley.
“Logistically, it is a bit of a challenge,” Hill said.
The new digs will nearly double the organization’s capacity for stray cats and dogs from its current facility. Added demand from the city, which will end its contract with SpokAnimal for animal control services at the end of the year, will require SCRAPS to add protection officers, customer service representatives and shelter technicians.
“We’re doubling our department with these positions,” Hill said. Applications, which will be channeled through the Spokane County Human Resources Office, will be accepted on a rolling basis. The priority is to hire full-time animal protection officers who handle citizen complaints in the field, Hill said.
Although SpokAnimal will cut some workers, the transition of duties will enable Executive Director Gail Mackie and her team to focus on making pets healthy and getting them into good homes. Sterilization will continue at SpokAnimal with expedited adoption efforts.
“We’re really excited about this,” Mackie said. “How often do you have a chance to reinvent yourself?”
The 20-year contract between the city and SCRAPS, signed in January after years of public opposition to tax increases that would fund a regional system, adds to a client list that includes Liberty Lake, Cheney and Millwood. The regional center is envisioned as a central location for county residents to find runaways and license their pets.
“All lost animals will be under the same roof,” Hill said. “There will be a common license, and if you change addresses, the tag will remain the same. We’ll have a uniform set of laws and policies.”
The recruitment fair will last from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Applicants should direct questions to the Spokane County Human Resources Office at (509) 477-5750.