The Spokane City Council on Monday approved a six-month contract with SpokAnimal C.A.R.E. to provide free spay and neuter services for residents’ pets.
Council members voted 6-1 to let SpokAnimal give pet sterilization vouchers to residents, who can redeem them at 11 city veterinary clinics.
Residents must buy a city pet license from SpokAnimal to get the voucher.
Councilwoman Cherie Rodgers cast the lone dissenting vote, saying she was concerned about the federal Drug Enforcement Agency’s recent investigation of the non-profit organization.
The shelter is believed to have ordered drugs using the federal drug license of a veterinarian who no longer works for SpokAnimal, DEA officials said.
The U.S. attorney’s office is considering filing civil charges against the shelter.
Because of the investigation, council members chose to shorten the length of the $100,124 contract from one year to six months.
Mayor Jack Geraghty said the council later this year will consider joining with the county to consolidate animal-control services.
In the meantime, city officials said they plan to monitor the DEA’s investigation.
“As far as we can tell, it doesn’t involve this program,” said Deputy City Manager Pete Fortin. “The majority of the (spay and neuter) work is done by veterinarians not in Spokane.”
In November 1995, voters approved a spay-and-neuter ballot initiative that dedicates one-10th of 1 percent of the city’s general fund to sterilizing house pets.
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