City to review Animal Care contract 

The Santa Clarita City Council on Tuesday is expected to review a five-year contract with the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control for local services.

The city has contracted with the county to care for the animals since its inception, according to the city’s agenda, but the City Council heard complaints last year about Castaic Animal Shelter, the county’s Santa Clarita Valley center, and the City Council ordered staff to take a closer look. .

“In 2023, the city has commissioned a comprehensive evaluation of DACC services to evaluate the effectiveness of the current contract and explore opportunities for improvement,” according to the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.

The city eventually found there was no reason to create its own shelter, which was part of the residents’ request at the time.

“The consultant looked at the data to see whether or not there was an overcrowding issue at the Castaic Animal Care Center,” Tracy Sullivan, community conservation officer for the city of Santa Clarita, said during a presentation to the City Council in May 2023. It shows that there is enough capacity to meet not only the needs of the city, but the needs of the entire service area.

Sullivan shared a chart highlighting the period from 2017 to 2019, when demand was at its highest, according to data shared by the shelter.

The graph indicated that the average capacity for dogs was 51 and the average shelter population was 40. For cats, the numbers were 56 and 47, respectively.

Figures presented at that meeting reported that in 2022, the shelter adopted out 252 dogs, returned 177 to their owners, and euthanized 52, according to the most recent data available. These numbers indicate an increase over the previous year.

The report also identified areas for “potential strengthening” of local services, according to the agenda, adding that these actions are underway.

Improvements include “additional spay and neuter clinics, holding off-site adoption events, expanding media exposure, and creating a grant program to support local nonprofit providers,” Sullivan said.

The city’s agenda did not list the estimated cost of the five-year contract, stating that the city’s “annual costs are determined separately each year based on actuarial analysis conducted by the county.”

The contract is expected to continue providing services with the county until June 30, 2029.

It contains several potential termination provisions, including the city’s right to cancel with 60 days of notice of a fee change from the county, and the right of either side to cancel with six months’ notice.

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