Columbus City Council is considering whether to allow PAWS Humane to take over animal shelter operations, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.
The council on Tuesday approved a measure that authorizes the city manager to continue negotiations with PAWS. A second ordinance introduced during the meeting would change Columbus codes to allow the nonprofit to oversee animal control operations.
In statements to the Ledger-Enquirer, PAWS neither confirmed nor denied that it is negotiating with the city.
The changes have been in the works for months. The city first sought bids for the animal control contract in April and received only one bid. Planning and discussion between the two parties have pushed the takeover timeline back.
Councilor Walker Garrett recused himself from Tuesday’s animal services negotiation vote because he serves on the board for PAWS Humane.
PAWS would lease the city’s animal shelter. The nonprofit would be responsible for the equipment, vehicles and other structures inside the shelter, like HVAC and plumbing. The city would be responsible for the shelter’s roof, foundation and exterior walls.
PAWS would be responsible for increasing and maintaining staff levels for field and shelter operations. If the contract is approved, current animal control staff members can apply for positions within the private company. The division is understaffed, Goodwin said. Shelter services such as animal intake, calls to trap or retrieve animals and all other animal services currently handled by Public Works would fall to PAWS. PAWS is also expected to adhere to several performance standards. Some of those include decreasing euthanasia rates.
If approved, PAWS is expected to take over operations in January 2022.
Pedro (Run 37) is a male mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from the Columbus GA Animal Control Center in Columbus, GA. What a happy-looking boy!