SCRAPS preparing to implement countywide animal control policy

SPOKANE, Wash. - Finding lost and stray pets could get a whole lot easier next year. Spokane will be contracting with Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service for animal control, which means all misplaced pets will be found under one roof.

With SCRAPS adding the City of Spokane to their area of coverage they're going to need a bigger facility and to that end they're looking at buying the old Harley Davidson building at 6815 E. Trent. The building it wants to buy is almost three times larger than the one the service has now.

SCRAPS said it will finalize the deal for its new building at the end of this month.

SCRAPS animal control changes

Having one central location for pet owners to find lost and stray pets will make it easier on everyone, SCRAPS officials said. Previously losing a pet meant it could end up in several different shelters.

"The benefits of regional animal control is that all strays will be housed under one roof so if you are missing your pet you will come to scraps and hopefully it will be there," said Nancy Hill with SCRAPS.

Monday night the Spokane City Council unanimously voted to give SCRAPS the contract for animal control services starting in 2014, a contract held for the last 28 years by SpokAnimal.

"We had a staff meeting this morning and everybody discussed about how excited they are to move in a new direction and we're ready to move forward and we've already started to make our first steps," said Gail Mackie with SpokAnimal.

SpokAnimal will lose 60-percent of it's budget and 22 employees.

"We'll be doing evaluations of every single one of our programs in September and deciding which ones we'll go ahead with and which ones we'll scale back and which ones will be gone totally," said Mackie.

Even though SpokAnimal lost the contract for animal control services with the City of Spokane Monday night the agency is not going to tuck its tail and run.

"You know we've been here for the animals for 28 years and we will continue, we will just be doing it in a different manner," said Mackie.

Nancy Hill said Spokane's decision will help create a universal licensing code.

"It will also create a uniform animal control ordinance and standardized policy. Dogs don't seem to know when they've crossed the county line," said Hill.

SCRAPS will now handle animal control for Spokane, Spokane Valley, Spokane County and any other small city that wants to join the system. Picking up the city contract will double SCRAPS' area of coverage, meaning they will need 20 new full time and six part time employees.

SCRAPS said it would consider hiring laid off SpokAnimal employees.