The Lynnwood City Council approved a new animal control services contract with the city of Everett Animal Shelter at its Oct. 28 meeting.
In a press release, PAWS claims that it was never given a chance to offer a competitive bid.
“The disappointing part about this is that we never had the opportunity to compete for the bid, despite the fact that we have been offering to change to the payment model they have now chosen,” PAWS Director of Companion Animal Services Kay Joubert said.
PAWS said that according to city of Lynnwood officials, the city has no policy regarding competitive bidding for public funding for service related contracts.
The city pays PAWS for all animals located within the city limits. Owners are supposed to pay fees at the Police Department before PAWS releases their animal.
In 2011, the city looked at the idea of potentially contracting with the city of Everett Animal Shelter. The Everett shelter collects all fees for each agency and remits them back via a monthly invoice. This would eliminate the processing of fees by the Lynnwood Police staff, city staff stated. City staff stated its belief that the Everett Animal Shelter presents an opportunity for the city to save money as compared to PAWS.
The new contract with the city of Everett Animal Shelter will go into effect in January of 2014. The initial term of the agreement is one year with automatic one-year renewals, subject to the right of either party to terminate the agreement with a 60-day notice.
“As for the welfare of the animals, we are concerned that the new contract is going to place many of them in jeopardy,” Joubert said. “While most people are willing to travel a short distance to deliver a stray animal, the new arrangement is going to require them to drive 30 minutes or more to deliver them to safety. In our experience, many people are willing to be good Samaritans as long as we make it as easy as possible. PAWS fears many of these animals will now be left abandoned, rather than receiving the help and care they need.