Tuesday, January 30, 2018

City Doesn't Have Rabies Shot Documentation for Shelter Adoptions

State law requires household pets to have a rabies vaccination.  The City of San Angelo Animal Shelter required pets be vaccinated for rabies prior to leaving the facility for calendar year in its original RFP for Adoption Services.

I submitted a Public Information Request  relative to the 913 dogs adopted from the shelter from 4-1-17 to 11-30-17.  I asked for copies of their rabies certificates.  The city responded today by saying:

Animal Services has provided an update that this is not a document of the city – an external vendor provides these services.
That's a poor answer for citizens expecting open and accountable government   Surely the City of San Angelo wishes to assure the community that all pets adopted from the shelter had their rabies vaccination, especially after the rabid skunk incident in PaulAnn.

It would seem the City could compel the vendor to provide such information given this provision in the contract:

PUBLIC RECORD: Provider understands that the public shall have access, at all reasonable times, to all documents and information pertaining to City contracts, subject to the provisions of Chapter 552, Texas Government Code, and agrees to allow access by City and the public to all documents subject to disclosure under applicable law. Provider’s failure or refusal to comply with the provisions of this section shall result in the immediate cancellation of this Agreement by City. 
The City has the power to audit the vendor, as well:

City may, at reasonable times, and for a period of not less than five (5) years following the date of final payment by City to Provider under this Agreement, audit, or cause to be audited, those books and records of Provider which are related to Primary Provider’s performance under this Agreement. 
A performance measure under the original RFP stated:

Ensuring rabies vaccination is given to animals prior to leaving the facility. 
It's clearly within the City's purview to obtain and share Shelter compliance statistics with the public.  It's odd they chose not to do so. 

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