After months and months of negotiations, there is still no deal between the City of Moose Jaw and the Moose Jaw Humane Society, so City Council is moving forward with a Request for Proposals to see if there is anyone else interested in providing animal control to the community.
The move will trigger a process that will review exactly what the city's needs are when it comes to animal control, according to Councillor Don Mitchell who made the motion that was approved by council. "It's been frustrating on both sides and hopefully it will move forward constructively and we can move forward on a contract and agreement."
"This will take a little bit of time but it shouldn't take near the time that has been already lost in terms of a stalemate over the last year or year and a half."
Mitchell says during negotiations, they've had troubles ferreting out exactly what costs the city should pick up for animal control and what costs are associated with shelters services, because they aren't the same thing.
According to Mitchell, the Humane Society has a contract for animal control in Moose Jaw but they also provide extended shelter services that fall outside of the agreement. The shelter always prefers adoption to putting animals down and that can result in long stays at the facility for abandoned animals, resulting in higher costs. According to the Humane Society's website, they see over 500 dogs and 1200 cats each year.
"One of the policy issues of the Humane Society is to provide extended support and care for animals beyond the 72 hours provisions that the city provides for pound services. That presents a cost challenge for them that the city has not been prepared to pick up."
While Mitchell says there has been frustration on both sides, they don't necessarily want to part ways with the Humane Society. He hopes an RFP will lay it all out in black and white, helping to determine exactly what services the city needs and what should be covered by the city contract while also determining what services are extra, falling under the shelter umbrella and covered by fundraising.
Mitchell assumes the Humane Society will come back with a proposal once the requirements for contract are drawn up by city administration but admits he's not sure if there is anyone else who might be interested in providing animal control in Moose Jaw.
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