Town council to enter into agreement with humane society for dog control services

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The town of Amherstburg will have a new provider of dog control services and it is a bit more expensive than at least one council member would prefer.

Town council has authorized administration to enter into a one-year agreement with the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society to provide dog control officer services and pound facility with the cost of that being $40,000. The human society does not charge HST as it is a registered charity.

According to a report from manager of licensing and enforcement Nicole Rubli, the town currently contracts out dog control services to 21st Century K9 Inc. to retrieve dogs at a yearly cost of $24,000 plus HST.

Services that have been included but were not limited to were responding to dog at large related calls 24 hours a day, every day, including statutory holidays; providing dog control services as requested by the town or the Amherstburg Police Service; attending court appearances if required; maintaining records of all dog control occurrences, dogs picked up and their deposition and all other actions taken in provision of dog control services; provide a live telephone answering service where a message can be left 24 hours a day, every day, including statutory holidays; providing a properly equipped, licensed and inspected vehicle to safely and humanely transport dogs. Such vehicle is to be suitably maintained to professionally represent the town; and providing and maintain all equipment necessary to humanely catch, handle and transport dogs.

Rubli told council in her report that the owner of 21st Century K9 Inc. decided to end the agreement and put the town on notice. Administration then issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a dog control officer and pound facility with the town receiving one bid.

Administration also developed various options for council’s consideration with those being discussed at an Oct. 23 in-camera meeting, Rubli noted. After reviewing “a number of options,” Rubli’s repot said administration recommends the one-year agreement with the humane society.

Councillor Leo Meloche didn’t disagree there was a need for the service, but voiced concern with the $40,000 annual cost. He said roughly 40 calls per year are responded to.

“If the average stays the same, we are spending $1,000 per animal,” said Meloche. “As a taxpayer, I find that number a little hard to swallow.”

CAO John Miceli said the humane society is the best option. He said other options were evaluated but the town needs the dog pound facility and believed the recommendation was the best one for the municipality.

Meloche remained skeptical, stating “we need to do a better job reducing costs.”

Councillor Diane Pouget asked if there was any way to mitigate costs, with Rubli stating the town has had an “aggressive” dog tag campaign that has been successful in obtaining revenue and other data for the town.

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