No break in animal services
Interim contract to Pikes Peak Humane
For 53 years, the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region provided animal services for the city of Colorado Springs. At
12:01 a.m. this Saturday, July 23, after a roughly 1 ˝-year interlude, Pikes Peak Humane will return to that role.
The change came about quickly this month, when the Englewood-based Colorado Humane Society told the city that financial shortfalls made it impossible to complete a two-year contract that was to last till the end of this year.
The city then turned to Pikes Peak Humane, which has shared its Westside-located animal shelter facility with Colorado Humane since January 2004 while providing animal-control services to El Paso County only. Pikes Peak Humane will now resume control of all the shelter space - on an interim contract through Dec. 31 - in handling city as well as county services once more.
“We are very, very glad we'll be able to provide animals with the care we know how to give,” said Pikes Peak Humane spokesperson Ann Hagerty. “We are very proud of the service we give to citizens and that we can give it again as we did for 53 years.”
Because of the unexpectedly speedy transition - less than four days - she asked people to be patient. “We really need six weeks,” she said. In the interim, while the agency hires additional help and organizes a plan, Hagerty said cases that do not involve emergencies or injuries may have to wait at times. “I hope people understand we're doing our best,” she said.
In giving the city notice initially, Colorado Humane had indicated plans to stay through July, according to Sue Blumberg of the City Manager's Office. However, the announcement led some of Colorado Humane's employees to seek work elsewhere - including a few at Pikes Peak Humane, Blumberg said. As a result, the entity lacked “sufficient employee resources,” speeding up the departure date, she said.
The interim contract terms with Pikes Peak Humane were not available at press time.
According to Blumberg, “The City will pay CHS (Colorado Humane Society) $175,000 under the terms of the termination settlement. The CHS contract for 2005 was based on a monthly fee of $60,750. CHS will retain ownership of its service vehicles as they were paid for through contract funds.”
City Manager Lorne Kramer had given the contract to Colorado Humane starting in the 2004 budget year after it underbid Pikes Peak Humane. With no other quarters available to work from, an arrangement was worked out at that time to house Colorado Humane in part of the animal shelter off Abbott Street (near the Eighth Street Wal-Mart). The situation, in which Colorado Humane's entrance was through a garage door, never was popular with either entity, according to citizens who dealt with them during the past year and a half, and there was informal bickering and criticism on both sides. However, no major public problems (such as disease outbreaks or emergency-response shortfalls) were reported.
In an interview before the recent contract shake-up, Councilman Jerry Heimlicher said he was not happy with the shared-shelter situation and wanted council to get involved with the next contract for animal services - instead of just letting the city manager make the call again.
Westside Pioneer article