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Performance audit on animal control released

Today, the City Auditor’s Office released a report on animal control. The report concluded that compliance with pet licensing was low. Only about 8 percent of dogs and 1 percent of cats in the city were licensed in 2002. While low licensing rates are a common problem in municipalities, a more proactive approach could increase licensing. Licensing provides a means of tracing stray pets back to their owners; lack of compliance with licensing requirements increases the likelihood of a stray pet being euthanized. Almost 70 percent of the animals brought to the City’s animal shelter in 2002 were euthanized.

The report also concluded that current funding for animal control is less than industry standards recommend, staffing is lower than recommended levels, and citizen satisfaction with animal control efforts are lower, on average, than other local cities surveyed. The report also concluded that a significant portion of the Animal Control Division’s costs are not covered by fees.

The report includes recommendations to establish a task force to identify ways to increase compliance with pet licensing laws and to provide cost and revenue information to the City Council so that it can establish goals for how much of the Animal Control Division’s costs should be recovered from fees.

This report can be accessed from beginning Oct. 8.

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