Waterloo looking at another change to animal control services - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo looking at another change to animal control services

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Another change may be coming to the way Waterloo handles animal control.

The Waterloo City Council is poised to vote on a plan which would shift the city away from sheltering animals and return that job to the Cedar Bend Humane Society.

The city took on all aspects of animal control back in 2013, ending a contract with the humane society over concerns about costs and other policies.

Now, city leaders are working with the humane society to have it handle boarding and caring for any dogs, cats, or other animals picked up in the city.

When city leaders decided to end their contract with the Cedar Bend Humane Society in 2013, the goal was to save money.

Since then, dogs and cats have been held in a city-operated shelter and cared for by animal control officers.

"Our officers are called back in to transport one of our injured animals to the vet or they've been called back in to the building to redeem an animal or sometimes to help with an animal. Now, they'll be back on the street. They won't have to come back and do that," said traffic operations superintendent Sandie Greco.

The plan would have the city pay the humane society $48 per animal or litter for boarding, caring, treatment and redemptions.

Under the pre-2013 contract, the city would pay a flat rate.

In the new proposal, the city would continue animal control and enforcement efforts on its own.

"Our wheelhouse is hosing the animals and taking care of them and the city is doing the ordinance and that's what's best for the community and that's what each organization can offer so that's a logical step," said Kristy Gardner, co-director of the Cedar Bend Humane Society.

Animals brought to the humane society would be held for 3 days before belonging to the humane society, who would decide the animals adoptability.

City leaders say it was too expensive to establish their own shelter, while humane society leaders say they're now in a better position to deal with the economics.

"The city has a budget they have to go by. We're a non-profit. For us, it's about being able to cover the basic intake of each animal so this was a logical move for us in working with the city and coming up with the budget numbers we feel we can both live with," said Gardner.

"I think we all realize this is what the people want, what the citizens want and we'll give them the best service we can between the two of us," said Greco.

Both the city and the humane society say this will allow for more of a partnership when it comes to spaying and neutering, microchipping, and licensing.

The city council may vote on the plan as early as next week.

The city of Cedar Falls currently contracts with Waterloo for animal control.

The two cities are currently in negotiations regarding the possible change.

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