SPOKANE, Wash. - For 28 years, SpokAnimal has provided animal control services for the city of Spokane, but that all changed at Monday's city council meeting.
The council voted 7-0 to transfer animal control operations to Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service, or SCRAPS. Council members say the change will save the city thousands of dollars.
The city says SCRAPS and SpokAnimal both submitted proposals to be the city's animal control provider.Changes coming to SpokAnimal
They were the same amount at $561,000, but the SCRAPS contract will save a few thousand dollars starting next year.
Council members say this was four years in the making, but the Executive Director of SpokAnimal, Gail Mackie, says she was blind sided at the change. She says SpokAnimal will lose 60 percent of its budget and 22 employees if the city cuts its funding to them.
County commissioner Todd Mielke claims SpokAnimal flip-flopped on their position of animal control.
"It was SpokAnimal original announcement, that it no longer wanted to be in the animal control business, and that it wanted to stay with a live release shelter," Mielke said. "So when they wanted to get out of the animal control business that prompted the city of Spokane to approach us, and say, 'what would it take for us to join your coalition."
SCRAPS will take over on January 1, 2014. The county hopes to have a new $1.7 million facility constructed, so people will only have to visit one location if they lose a pet.
Commissioner Mielke says the building will be finished by the end of the year, and it will be paid for by cutting costs and administrative positions.
The Director of SCRAPS, Nancy Hill, said 17 new full-time employees will be hired, and they'll consider any SpokAnimal employees who get laid off for those jobs.