Monday, January 17, 2022

City's Odd Mix of Veterinary Service Contracts

The City of San Angelo has various veterinary service agreements for the Animal Shelter.  One is with veterinarian Dr. Victor Schultze.  It has been in place since April 2018.  That contract states:

A.  City currently contracts with Concho Valley Paws to provide adoption services and limited professional veterinary services, including spaying, neutering and administration of rabies vaccinations for adoptable animals under the care and supervision of the San Angelo Animal Shelter (“Shelter”), located at 3142 Highway 67 North, San Angelo, Texas.

B.  City requires additional veterinary services that includes the following: i) provide veterinary license permissions allowing the Shelter to purchase necessary vaccines, medications and related supplies; ii) conduct monthly routine Shelter inspections to insure compliance with all state and federally mandated requirements related to operation of the Shelter; and iii) assist City in proceedings before regulatory agencies or courts that relate to Provider’s services rendered under this Agreement (“Services”).

City Council received the following from staff to enter into a veterinary services agreement with Concho Valley PAWS (paragraph A above). 

Due to the City's need of veterinary services to spay, neuter and rabies vaccinate adoptable pets, we desire a contract with Concho Valley PAWS to facilitate these services. Before you today is such an agreement which will expedite the delivery of spay/neuter procedures as well as rabies vaccinations. 

We currently contract with PAWS to provide adoption services which includes coordinating off-site rabies vaccinations, spaying and neutering of adoptable animals. Such services are coordinated based on availability of local veterinarians at varying rates for those services.

Concho Valley PAWS recently contracted with one or more veterinarians to render these services on-site at the animal shelter at a consistent rate. PAWS will provide a veterinarian licensed by the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners on-site at the shelter as needed to provide services to include 1-2 weekly visits as well as Saturdays for surgeries.

Concho Valley PAWS limited veterinary services fell apart by Fall 2018.   

The city cemented its marriage with PAWS in May 2018 with a $1 a year lease for land next to the Animal Shelter.  It donated veterinary surgical equipment to PAWS for its new building, which houses a surgical suite for spay/neuter surgeries.  PAWS building ran into problems due to missing permits and inspection issues.  It eventually opened in June 2020. 

Sometime after Fall 2018 PAWS contracted to provide emergency medical services for shelter animals.  City Council's background packet stated in August 2020:

Other services such as large scale transports, foster programs and emergency medical support will continue unchanged from prior contracts.

PAWS Executive Director Jenie Wilson committed to employ a veterinarian in their February 2020 RFP submission. 

Concho Valley PAWS is currently seeking to employ a licensed Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. 

There is no mention of any prior PAWS veterinary services provided to shelter animals, emergency or otherwise.  One might expect to see statistics on services provided and value received by the city.  Not there, however it did say:

Adoption fees flow through the city's account to pay for spay/neuter services.
Weren't those the services PAWS agreed to provide nearly four years ago?  

The city's account for spay/neuter services is not apparent in prior and current budgets for Animal Services.  

City Council approved donating the city's veterinary surgical equipment to PAWS in December 2019, even though a local rescue offered to purchase the equipment from the city.  How many spay/neuter surgeries has PAWS done with that equipment since their new building opened?

The public knows that equipment was not used on nearly 50 community cats the city dumped unaltered into city neighborhoods.

The city dumped 48 cats, 47 of which were unaltered into San Angelo neighborhoods from October 2020 to March 2021.  It did so because it had no funding for a Top Four Pets Alive strategy.  The 48 cats spent an average of 12 days in the shelter prior to release.  A robust community cat program would have no overnight stays in the shelter and would never dump intact cats onto city streets.

City Council had little turnover from 2018 to today.  They are a giving and forgiving bunch given the ever changing promises of spay/neuter service and subsequent failures to deliver.  

Update 1-20-22:   The City of San Angelo has no documents indicating the "names of veterinarian(s) providing medical care to shelter animals via the City's contract with Concho Valley PAWS.”  One might expect the city to credential any medical providers, have a copy of their veterinary license.

Update 1-26-22:  As the City lacks the most basic information on their arrangement with PAWS I contacted Concho Valley PAWS for the names of their contracted vets that go into the shelter in emergency situations.

Update 2-11-22:  Concho Valley PAWS indicated Dr. Victor Schultz is their staff veterinarian.  His role is to help "prepare animals for adoption by providing spay and neuter services, heartworm tests and treatment, vaccinations services and treatment of common shelter illness such as kennel cough, parvo, URI, UTI, etc.  PAWS also outsources to several area veterinarians such as San Angelo Veterinary Clinic, Western Veterinary Clinic, Southside Veterinary Clinic, Green Meadow Veterinary Clinic for treatment of emergencies or complex issues such as broken bones, enucleations, and amputations.  PAWS also utilizes out of area specialist when needed such as Blue Pearl in San Antonio."

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