Proposal to reduce kill rate at Pueblo Animal Shelter: public he - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Proposal to reduce kill rate at Pueblo Animal Shelter: public hearing scheduled

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Many in Pueblo are continuing to fight to reduce the number of animals killed in the citys shelter.

City Councilman Chris Nicoll proposed a plan two weeks ago, one that is sparking support and controversy among people in the community.

On Wednesday, News 5 spoke with people on both sides of the issue.

Some people who are for the proposal are members of Reform Pueblo Animal Services. The group started a petition in support and as of Wednesday, it had almost 3,500 signatures.

Like Nicoll, the group wants to bring the shelters 80 percent save right up to 90.

However, others say that the proposal could cause a lot of problems for animals and Pueblo citizens.

This is a cookie-cutter legislation that isn't really fitting the city and county of Pueblo, said Jan McHugh-Smith. The president & CEO of the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region has some real concerns about the proposal.

I worry about it being an unfunded mandate because increasing the live release rate and mandating, legislating that, will definitely increase the cost of care for the animals."

Its a cost that she says would fall to taxpayers.

It also restricts the shelter's ability to make decisions about dangerous animals and so we're really worried about public safety.

Councilman Chris Nicoll said, That's really a fear tactic and anytime we bring something new forward there's always that level of fear. I think you have to counter that with facts and the facts are that this ordinance has been successful in cities like Austin, TX, Muncie, INthe public expects us to protect animals within our city. We can do better than what we've done so far and so that's what this ordinance is about.

Its an ordinance that people like Lisa Buccambuso want to see passed. She is a member of Reform Pueblo Animal Services.

Buccambuso said, It's proposing that all healthy and treatable animals that are at a shelter in Pueblo have a chance at adoption.

A chance at adoption before the shelter euthanizes an animal. It's just one issue Nicoll says should be addressed now before the city signs another contract with the Humane Society.

Nicoll said, It's possible Pueblo can do it. We just have to work together.

As for McHugh-Smith, she believes that this legislation needs to have a good look over and getting all the groups together to see if there's another way for us to work together because we all have the same mission of wanting to save animals.

Nicoll says the proposal will be discussed during a public hearing on December 11 and it will be put to a vote.

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