Council Approves One Year Trial for Municipal Animal Pound and Shelter Services

Jul 13, 2016

Greater Sudbury Council has decided that the municipality will own and operate animal pound and shelter services on a one year trial basis. The decision, which was made at the regular meeting of Council today, will come into effect on November 1, 2016.
“Council has made a decision based on delivering the best quality service at the most reasonable cost,” said Mayor Brian Bigger. “A one year pilot is an ideal opportunity for our city to actively manage delivery and costs for animal pound and shelter services to determine whether this model will remain under the municipality.”
The City of Greater Sudbury issued a Request for Proposal for pound and shelter services in May, 2016. Submissions were received from Pet Save Inc. and Rainbow District Animal Control and Shelter Services. One submission met all requirements for experience, service delivery and references; however, a bid of $550 to care for each dog and each cat held for a provincially legislated three day redemption period significantly exceeded the current budget for the service. The second submission was lower but did not successfully match service requirements for the contract.
Subsequent to the closing of the Request for Proposal on June 17, Rainbow District Animal Control and Shelter Services submitted an unsolicited second and alternate bid directly to members of Greater Sudbury Council and senior municipal management in violation of the City of Greater Sudbury Purchasing By-law. As a consequence, the original bid and alternate bid were disqualified from the City’s procurement process.
Greater Sudbury staff has identified a location for a municipal animal pound and shelter at a former pet boarding facility on Kari Road in Wahnapitae. The city is prepared to lease the facility for a one year trial at a cost of approximately $4,000 per month, excluding utilities and maintenance. The pound and shelter will remain “low kill”, meaning every reasonable effort must be taken to reunite dogs and cats with their owners or to foster and adopt animals following a three day redemption period. 
Leasing, staffing, materials, operating costs and contracted services, including veterinary care, have been included in a $430,000 annual budget to operate the pound and shelter. An additional $245,000 has been budgeted for enforcement of the city’s animal control by-law and $35,000 for an upcoming trap/neuter/release program for feral cats and spay/neuter subsidies for low-income residents.
The current contract for animal control by-law enforcement and provision of pound and shelter services is $622,771 with an additional $69,000 annually under a revenue sharing agreement. The contract expires on October 31, 2016.
Council previously approved a proposal to move responsibility for enforcement of a new animal control by-law to the municipality, effective November 1. The move will improve operating efficiencies by blending enforcement of general by-laws with animal control and extend hours of service to include evenings and weekends.
Staff will present long-term options for animal pound and shelter services no later than June of 2017, ahead of the expiry of the one-year trial period. 
At the same meeting, Council also approved a new and progressive approach to responsible pet ownership, to be reflected in a new animal care and control by-law. Revisions to the by-law include adoption of the core principles for responsible pet ownership, incentives for cat owners to spay, neuter and license their pets, and elimination of the pet limits for spayed and neutered cats and dogs per household.
“The decisions made by Council today represent a significant change in how we care for animals, both from a responsible pet ownership perspective and from the perspective of pound and shelter services,” said Caroline Hallsworth, Executive Director of Administrative Services. “We are excited to move forward with the new models, and will be working hard to implement them and to build strong ties with our city’s animal care community.” 
Staff will prepare a draft animal care and control by-law for presentation to Council in September with the goal of having a new by-law in place for November 1.