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Kitsap County Commissioners solicit citizens to discuss animal control services

Reduced revenues since 2008 have led to a series of cuts for Kitsap County programs, including animal control services. These reductions have required modifications adjusting responsibilities and prioritizing services in the county’s contract with the Kitsap Humane Society.

As revenues are unlikely to keep up with costs of salaries and other expenses at the humane society, the Board of County Commissioners is interested in public discussion of animal control and animal welfare responsibilities. To facilitate this, the Board will establish a citizens’ advisory committee whose mission will be to provide recommendations regarding taxpayer responsibilities for specific animal control and animal welfare services required by state law or historically provided in unincorporated Kitsap County to include:

  • Animal cruelty
  • Dangerous animals
  • Livestock at-large
  • Collection of domestic animals at-large (stray animals)
  • Veterinary care of stray animals (vaccinations, spay/neuter, emergency care)
  • Kenneling duration for stray animals (length of stay)
  • Adoption/relocation programs
  • Feral animals and trap, neuter and release programs
  • Animal noise complaints
  • Pet licensing programs

The committee will consist of nine members to serve as non-compensated volunteers appointed by the Board of Commissioners, two from each Commissioner District and three at-large members. The Board is seeking applicants with expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • Animal welfare
  • Veterinary care
  • Large organization budgeting

·         Law enforcement or code implementation

The committee will meet twice monthly through May 2013 to discuss the current requirements of state law and county code regarding animal control services; challenges in the provision of animal control and animal welfare services on a countywide level; techniques of other jurisdictions; costs of specific animal welfare services; and direct and indirect public benefits of each service. Through these discussions, the committee will provide recommendations to the Board to include:

  • Prioritization of  animal control functions
  • Animal control functions that should be discontinued, if any
  • Taxpayer responsibility for specific animal control functions
  • Cost savings in  animal control services
  • Revenue generation alternatives for specific services

These recommendations will be considered by the Board during the 2014 budget discussion beginning in the summer of 2013.

The Board will be soliciting applications for committee members through December 24, 2012. For more information, go to www.kitsapgov.com/volunteer/current.htm or contact Eric Baker, Kitsap County Special Projects Manager, at (360) 337-4495 or ebaker@co.kitsap.wa.us. Contact Kitsap County Volunteer Services for application materials at (360) 337-4650 or rpirtle@co.kitsap.wa.us .

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