SANGER — Sanger City Council members have agreed to a contract with All-American Animal Control for animal shelter services, after the previous animal shelter announced plans to end its agreement.
The council unanimously agreed Monday to have the shelter, a division of All-American Dogs, handle sheltering its animals until Sept. 30, 2013, with options to renew. In addition to the contract, Sanger will close its city shelter.
Sanger will pay the animal shelter about $3,400 a month and a one-time payment of $21,000 for expansions of the existing kennels at the shelter. All-American Animal Control agreed to take in 260 animals a year. Additional animals will cost the city $160 each.
City Manager Mike Brice said the option to contract services to a third party is much less expensive than trying to build, staff and operate a city-based shelter.
Sanger officials were already looking for a possible alternative to Noah’s Ark after negative news about euthanasia rates began to surface from local residents.
Residents’ criticism led officials to begin the search for a new shelter that could help improve adoption rates.
The criticism resulted in Noah’s Ark officials terminating the contract with Sanger, citing that negative press about euthanasia rates could ruin the shelter’s image.
Shelly Gomulak, veterinarian and Noah’s Ark board president, said focusing on euthanasia rates paints an unfair picture of the services the shelter provides. However, officials said they had no issue with Sanger officials seeking other options to improve adoption rates.
“If you can find someone else who can do a better job, that’s great,” she said. “But don’t attack us.”
Bob Matthews, All-American Dogs president, said his shelter has a 90 percent adoption rate and that expansion of his facility will help secure that rate.
Sanger officials plan to pay for the expansion with funds left over from the Noah’s Ark agreement, which will negate costs.
During a Nov. 15, 2010, council workshop, Sanger officials said Noah’s Ark officials expressed that they had a 3 percent to 5 percent euthanasia rate.
However, records show rates were higher.
According to Noah’s Ark’s shelter manager, officials found homes for 114 animals that were transferred from Sanger between Jan. 1 and Sept. 4. During that same time, the shelter also reported euthanizing 65 animals from Sanger.
And in August, Noah’s Ark processed 16 animals, euthanizing nine.
Mayor Thomas Muir said it’s unfortunate that the city’s relationship with Noah’s Ark did not end well, but he said he believes that the shelter was handling more than its capacity.
He said Noah’s Ark was reaching its limit and that All-American Dogs can offer more room and space to shelter animals longer than what Noah’s Ark is capable.
“Hopefully it works out and they’re the answer,” he said. “If not, we’ll be back here again.”
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .