Saturday, January 11, 2020

City Staff/Contractors Control Public Animal Services Board

The City of San Angelo updated its website for the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee (ASAC).  Shelter Director Morgan Chegwidden has the unique role of providing oversight to herself, as do PAWS Director Jenie Wilson and PAWS Veterinarian Dr. Victor Shultze.  PAWS is the shelter contractor for adoption and veterinary services.

City Health Director Sandra Villareal formerly oversaw the Animal Shelter.  Years ago she referred to the city following animal ordinances as the "red tape way."  The public board is made of a majority of city staff/contractors who have a pattern of hiding behind one another when asked for basic information about shelter operations (shelter compliance with state law and city ordinances).

PAWS Director Jenie Wilson stated she had compliance data in the September 2019 ASAC meeting but the city had no documents when asked to provide that information.  

The City of San Angelo frequently hides information behind attorney-client privilege, as it did on the appointment of Chegwidden to the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee.  It has asked the Attorney General to withhold an e-mail chain regarding the community cat program, citing attorney-client privilege.  Community Cats is a top four strategy for the shelter under Pets Alive, which encourages shelters to be completely transparent on their operations.  

Transparency is not the city's strong suit in the animal services arena.  City actions do not inspire public confidence that relationships are arm's length and actions are above board.

Update 1-16-20:  The Animal Shelter Advisory Committee met today.   Changes since last year, plus the shelter is full call out by Concho Valley PAWS, reduced intake over 10% for most of the last quarter.  Two of the three pets cited in the update were dogs and both made it back to the shelter since their highlighted adoption/reunion.  The third was a community kitten who grew into a cat.  After a year in the shelter he rules his old neighborhood.  Shelter Director Morgan Chegwidden and PAWS Veterinarian Victor Schultze missed today's meeting.  This is the third ASAC meeting in row Dr. Schultze missed.

Update 1-17-20:  City staff nominated Assistant Director for Concho Valley PAWS Jen Murphy to the Animal Services Advisory Committee.   PAWS Executive Director Jenie Wilson's term ends 1-31-20.  I assume this will be a PAWS for PAWS substitution.

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