Partnership takes bite out of price for animal control

Citizens for Animal Welfare and Shelter will pay for $40,000 in operating expenses while the city of Delta pays utilities and some costs of the Delta Animal Shelter at 640 W. Fourth St. in Delta.



011212 DELTA ANIMAL SHELTER

Citizens for Animal Welfare and Shelter will pay for $40,000 in operating expenses while the city of Delta pays utilities and some costs of the Delta Animal Shelter at 640 W. Fourth St. in Delta.

A partnership between the city of Delta and nonprofit animal rescue group Citizens for Animal Welfare and Shelter, or CAWS, is helping provide a broader range of animal services in Delta.

About a year ago, the city of Delta trimmed back some of its animal-services program to save costs. After months of negotiations, the city approved a new plan earlier this month that shifts some of the responsibility of animal services to CAWS. That agency is set to take over full responsibility of the shelter’s management and operations by April, Delta Animal Shelter Director JoAnn Kalenak said.

“The outcry we were getting from our constituents was huge: to provide animal control,” Kalenak said.

CAWS has been operational in Delta for the past 12 years, mainly fostering animals and working to spay and neuter them.

The new agreement provides that CAWS will pay for $40,000 in operating expenses while the city pays utilities and some costs of the building at 640 W. Fourth St. in Delta. CAWS will not be charged rent.

Delta is providing the use of part-time animal control officer Ryla Pavlisick. Patrol officers will handle animal-complaint calls during off hours, Delta Police Department spokeswoman Jamie Head said.

Another employee, Teresa Kallsen, who works at the shelter to clean and provide animal care, will switch from being a city employee to a CAWS employee in April.

Head said the Police Department had been providing animal services, and the shelter had been open in the past year, but it was on a limited basis.

Officers responded to calls of aggressive dogs, but the city did not respond to any calls for cats.

“Everybody has been screaming, ‘The shelter’s closed,’ but that’s not true,” Head said. “We’ve been responding on a case-by-case basis for the entire last year.”

CAWS, with the help of volunteers and some paid staff, plans to eventually keep the shelter open seven days a week.

Kalenak, who said she lately has been volunteering about 30 hours a week for the cause, said the new arrangement is working thanks to grants. It’s also going to take a community of volunteers to staff the facility and make it successful, she said.

“It’s a great deal for the city,” Kalenak said. “It saved them $40,000, and the space at that building is paid for. They’re giving us enough, too.”

For information about adopting animals or volunteering, contact the shelter at 874-1078. Open hours are from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday.

The shelter lists its available animals on http://www.petfinder.com.



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