Tuesday night marks both the beginning of a new year but also a new era for animal control services in the City of Spokane as animal control services have switched from Spokanimal to SCRAPS.
This transition will mean a new identity for Spokanimal and a new regional level of animal control service for our area. It will also mean a reduction in staff at Spokanimal, but it's also an exciting time and they are looking forward to huge success with their new model.
"As of midnight tonight we are transitioning out of animal control," Spokanimal executive director Gail Mackie said.
It's a bittersweet day for Mackie and her staff at Spokanimal. The city's animal control contract provided 60-percent of their annual funding.
"That's quite a hit of course. We lost all the people that were in that department, three are retained to work inside but we lost a large part of the staff," Mackie said.
The city's hope is to streamline animal control and ultimately creating one regional service provider
"What that means is all stray animals will be housed under one roof, there will be a common license and there will be uniform enforcement of laws and public policy," SCRAPS director Nancy Hill said. "It will make it really simple for citizens as they cross over lines from unincorporated Spokane County to the City of Spokane to the City of Spokane Valley."
Hill's staff of 25 has doubled to accommodate the new work load which she admits will be a process
"We're asking for a little patience from the public because half of our staff is new and as we move forward into the regional program it will be a learning experience for all of us," she explained.
When all is said and done, the idea is to simplify this service for you. All licensing will be done through SCRAPS, which you can do online or at their North Flora location in Spokane Valley. They'll have a new facility on Trent Avenue which should be up and running in May.
Meanwhile Mackie and her staff at Spokanimal are excited for the future.
"That's really exciting for us we have been doing animal control for thirty years and now it gives us an opportunity to do what we do best which is adoptions and the clinic," she said.