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RDOS wants to sign formal contract with Town of Osoyoos to use dog pound facility
The Town of Osoyoos will reap financial benefits from Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) taxpayers if town council accepts a proposal to sign a formal contract with the RDOS to provide dog pound services in 2014 and beyond.
Donna Butler, development services manager for the RDOS, made a presentation to Town of Osoyoos council Monday asking that current services be expanded in a formal agreement that would provide financial benefits to the town.
“The RDOS is requesting the Town of Osoyoos to continue to permit the Regional District to make use of the Osoyoos dog pound for impoundment of dogs from Areas A, B, C and G for 2014,” said Butler. “We also request your consideration of the merits of a long-term relationship with the Regional District for dog control services.
“While Osoyoos has its own pound and contractor, there is an opportunity for financial benefit for the town.”
Butler acknowledged the RDOS appreciates that Osoyoos has provided pound facilities for the region over the past several years, but there has not been any formal contract or agreement and the RDOS would like that to change, she said.
This past summer, several incidents at the Osoyoos dog pound brought to light some issues with the RDOS use of the pound, said Butler.
The RDOS had the understanding that the town had an arrangement with Marshall Enforcement Services for use of the pound for the impoundment of dogs throughout the region. The town was of the understanding that only rural Osoyoos (Area A), was making use of the pound, she said.
The incident, which involved a dangerous large dog who ended up killing another dog while impounded at the Osoyoos pound, also raised concern about housing a dangerous dog and the need for a more secure kennel, she said.
Animal control was established as a service in most areas of the RDOS back in 1995, with the department focusing on the requirement for dog licensing, prohibition of dogs at large, seizure and impoundment of dogs and processes to deal with aggressive and dangerous dogs, she said.
The RDOS budget for this service in 2013 was $65,200 and this amount has remained largely stable over the past three years.
For the past 10 years, the service has been contracted to Marshall Enforcement Services for a cost of roughly $50,000 per year, said Butler.
The contractor is located in Osoyoos and uses the Osoyoos dog pound for impoundments, she said.
The Marshall contract with the RDOS will expire at the end of this month, providing an opportunity for the RDOS to review other options for this service, including partnerships with municipalities on a sub-regional basis or a regional service with all electoral areas and municipalities, she said.
The Town of Osoyoos dog pound was constructed six years ago and the current contract with Marshall expires in 2015, said Butler.
Princeton, Keremeos, Osoyoos and Oliver have established dog control services and all are currently satisfied with the service, she said.
There are only two certified pound facilities in the Okanagan Valley – Osoyoos and Penticton – and a limited number of kennels, she said.
Private kennels are generally not interested in providing their facilities for impoundment due to concerns about disease transfer, she said.
“Cut to the costs for trained animal control officers, long hours of the service and vehicle and equipment needs, contractors are more likely to have multiple contracts with rural and municipal clients,” said Butler. “It does not appear feasible to have one contractor provide a separate service to each jurisdiction for a reasonable cost.
“Based on public convenience, proximity to impoundment facilities, existing contractors and economic factors, the following service areas are under consideration …. Okanagan South (Areas A rural Osoyoos and C rural Oliver) … the contractor would utilize pound facilities in Osoyoos with municipal support or location of a new public or private pound facility in the area.
“This proposal would be the most functional with the same contractor to service the municipalities and the rural areas if there is one shared facility.”
Use of the Osoyoos pound is also requested in the short term to impound dogs from areas in the Similkameen Valley, including Cawston, rural Keremeos, Olalla and Hedley.
Due to a lack of alternative pound facilities, the RDOS is requesting a one-year extension to use of the Osoyoos pound and this will include a legal agreement and compensation for using the pound, said Butler.
After 2014, there appears to be an option of a sub-regional service for animal control, with four electoral areas and Osoyoos participating, she said.
The Town of Oliver is also interested in a new pound facility in 2015, she said.
“The costs of the service would be shared by call, with the Town of Osoyoos being compensated for pound services,” she said. “If a sub-regional service is not desired, a long-term arrangement for impoundment services between the town and the RDOS is an alternative. If neither option is desired by the town, the RDOS will seek out other pound facilities, such as a new public pound of private kennel.”
Barry Romanko, the town’s chief administrative officer, said staff would prepare a detailed report with options for council to consider in relation to the dog pound.
The amount of monetary compensation that RDOS would provide to the town for dog pound services wasn’t discussed during Monday’s meeting.