Friday, January 17, 2020

PAWS Changing of Guard at ASAC

San Angelo's Animal Services Advisory Committee will continue to have two board members that work for adoption services/veterinary contractor Concho Valley PAWS.  PAWS Executive Director Jenie Wilson will no longer oversee herself as of the end of January 2020.  PAWS Assistant Director Jen Murphy will take over her boss' slot, providing public oversight to Mrs. Wilson, the person who conducts Murphy's performance evaluation.

The two PAWS board slots combined with two City staff slots gives this combination a majority vote on any ASAC agenda item.  Shelter Director Morgan Chegwidden provides public oversight for herself.  Health Department Director Sandra Villareal fills the other staff ASAC board seat.  Villareal previously oversaw the Animal Shelter and once referred to following nuisance animal ordinances as "the red tape way."

Not mentioned in today's Animal Shelter Advisory Committee meeting:  1)  Ordinance updates planned for November 2019 (but later cancelled) and 2) Draft adoption services/veterinary care RFP (with broadened scope of services and full fiduciary responsibilities).

PAWS Veterinarian and ASAC member Dr. Victor Schultze missed his third meeting in a row, which could trigger discussion of his removal if all were unexcused.

PAWS new building next to the Animal Shelter is underway.  There is no official opening date in any of the Standard Times or San Angelo Live news articles published to date.

Citizens who read the news were told not to take pets to the shelter in November 2019.  The articles did not come from the city's juggernaut Public Information Office and the city claimed to not know the source of the articles, which quoted PAWS Executive Director Jenie Wilson.  This was not the first time the city and PAWS were on different public relations pages.

Yesterday the Animal Services Advisory Board celebrated the reduction of animals taken into the shelter from October-December 2019 and corresponding declines in euthanasia.  Pets Alive policies constrain a citizen's ability to surrender their pet via managed intake and encourage managed intake of unowned pets.  In addition PAWS steered citizens away from the shelter with their "Shelter is Full" public relations campaign. 

The City of San Angelo does not allow a citizen to surrender their pet due to owner illness, health decline or death.  Moving out of town is not a reason that allows an owner to surrender their pet at the Animal Shelter.   The only two reasons a pet can be immediately surrendered at the shelter are aggression to humans residing in the home and natural disaster.

The City does not allow adopters to return their pet to the Animal Shelter under managed intake, instead steering them to pet rescues other than Concho Valley PAWS (the contracted adoption coordinator).  Area rescues have seen owner surrenders from Shelter adopters soar since the city began "managed intake."  Many of these surrenders have been unaltered, a violation of city ordinance.

PAWS Director Jenie Wilson told the ASAC in October 2019 she had compliance data on shelter pets meeting the spay/neuter ordinance but a December public information request had the city claiming no such document exists.  Standard contract language on the city's purchasing website addresses public information, ownership of documents and the city's right to ensure a contractor meets applicable regulations.  Apparently none of these terms apply to Concho Valley PAWS.

A PAWS for PAWS exchange is coming to the oversight board, courtesy of City Council.   It will occur this coming Tuesday.

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