The City of Blue Springs and the Blue Springs Police Department are partnering with a local animal rescue group, Pawportunities, Inc., to provide Animal Control Services for the City.
The Blue Springs City Council approved a three-month trial contract for this unique partnership during their regular meeting on Monday, February 7.
"We’re excited about our partnership with Pawportunities to provide the Animal Control services for the City of Blue Springs. We are hopeful that this ‘outside-the-box' solution will provide the level of service and compassionate care the people and animals of Blue Springs deserve,” said Police Chief Bob Muenz.
“This is a unique opportunity to merge our mission as an animal rescue with the responsibilities and functions of a traditional Animal Control service. And it is our goal to help keep all our residents – including the furry ones – safe and secure as well as provide additional resources to animals in need,” said Carrie Siems, Pawportunities Chief Executive Officer.
Essentially, Pawportunites Inc. will provide personnel to perform animal control services such as responding to calls for service, boarding and releasing animals, education to the community and issuing citations for animal related municipal ordinance violations.
The Blue Springs Police Department will provide the use of the animal holding facility located at Barett Park, the use of the current animal control vehicles, dispatching services, necessary training related to police operations in this area, and designate a liaison within the department to communicate with Pawportunities staff.
Over the last two years, the Police Department has had difficulty staffing the Animal Control Unit and much of that time, the entire unit has only had one Animal Control Officer on-duty with limited availability. Outsourcing Animal Control Services to Pawportunities will provide an opportunity to enhance services to the residents of Blue Springs at, or below the budgeted in-house unit.
If the three-month trial period is successful, the contract may be extended.
Pawportunities personnel will enforce all City animal-related codes and ordinances. Pawportunities will charge residents directly for reimbursement of boarding and veterinary fees. Currently, the Police Department collects these charges by requesting restitution through Municipal Court. The City will continue to collect any fines resulting from citations for ordinance violations.
Pawportunities personnel will undergo training and an official date to transition services is to be determined.