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Politics & Government

Current animal control services to cease in Delaware by September

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This fall, animal control services will be terminated across all three counties.

In a 14-1 vote Monday, the board of the First State Animal Center and the SPCA decided to cancel their current animal control contracts by September 15th.

This comes just a couple weeks after the Office of Animal Welfare announced it would assume authority over animal control and enforcement matters for the state.

Hetti Brown, executive director of the Office of Animal Welfare, says the state had planned for a transition period beginning in January 2016, with final services transferred by 2017.

 

“It was somewhat surprising to us that the organization rejected that offer of a lengthy transition plan and surprised they didn’t want to work with us to map out a thoughtful approach to the transition," said Brown. "However, It wasn’t entirely unexpected and we have been putting in contingency plans in the last several months just in case anything did interrupt service prior to our planned transition date.”

Brown predicts they will work with local organizations skilled in handling animal welfare issues and assess what programs are in place. A meeting between state and county officials on the next steps will take place this Monday.

The Office of Animal Welfare was established last year and will soon take responsibility for matters regarding stray animals, investigating animal cruelty and preventing the spread of disease from wild animals. Last month, it took over the state’s spay and neuter program, previously handled by the Department of Agriculture.

 

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