The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

February 20, 2013

City to ask for animal care proposals

By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — With a clear direction in mind for animal control, the Clinton City Council will request proposals from area animal care providers willing to accept animals from the city’s animal control officer.

Before they could decide on the direction to proceed for securing animal control services,  council members needed to decide what level of service they would like to be provided to Clinton residents.

Interim City Administrator and Finance Director Jessica Kinser suggested three options.

“I can go out and issue an RFP for something, but if it’s not the level of service that you are wanting then it seems like that’s an unnecessary step until I know what you’re looking for and what you would like included in a request for proposal,”  Kinser said.  

 First, the council could move forward with the statutory minimum requirements that dictate the city is only responsible for dogs running at large without proof of rabies vaccination, animals that have bitten and dangerous dogs. The city has only been impounding animals required by law since the city council failed to override a veto of the Clinton Humane Society contract and did not approve a contract with local vet All Pets Mobile Clinic. The biting dogs are currently being housed at the Humane Society of Scott County in Davenport.  

The second option involved taking care of all dogs, cats and wild from the animal control officer, but not residents. The third option entailed accepting animals from the animal control officer and residents.  

At-large councilman Charlie Mulholland selected option three while at-large council member John Rowland said he was fine with either the second or third option. The five remaining council members opted for the second.  

“I think that if private citizens were to call in and have the animal control officer take care of most of the animals that are running at large or whatever, neglect, whatever, I think we’d have more control,” Ward 3 Councilwoman Bev Hermann said.

At-large Councilwoman Jennifer Graf agreed.  

“I agree with two and I agree with two because I think it’s a safety issue to encourage our general public to pick up animals...that’s what we’ve hired the animal control officer to do,” Graf said.  

While the cost of the services won’t be apparent until the RFP’s have been received, the option for a daily fee or subsidy will be left open for the agency submitting the proposal to decide.  

“We would be working with figures provided by animal control officer and the police department as a baseline for making some of those judgements on what we estimate those daily fees to be,” Kinser said.

The council will discuss the RFP during its next committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday. City staff plans to advertise for the proposals in local newspapers as well as those in the Quad-Cities.

“I’m relieved we’re working off the same information for everybody who will bid,” Ward 2 Councilwoman  Julie Allesee said.

Clinton Humane Society Operations Manager Sandi Bartels said she will submit a proposal for the services. Some revised contracts she brought to the COW meeting included different stipulations and subsidies lower than the $120,000 the agency asked for in its latest contract.

“We are willing to work with the city,” Bartels said.