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Pueblo City Council addressing animal shelter issues in Monday meeting

Posted at 11:42 AM, Apr 08, 2019

PUEBLO – Nearly two weeks after PAWS for Life forfeited its license to operate the city-county animal shelter in Pueblo, city leaders look to fill that void with a pair of emergency actions Monday night.

The Pueblo City Council will hear two emergency ordinances to bring back an animal shelter provider and repeal a controversial ordinance passed in December.

The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR), whose branch Pueblo Animal Services operated the city-county shelter from 2016 through December 2018, is looking to return under certain conditions. If passed, HSPPR would begin operating the shelter on Tuesday, pending a matching vote from the Pueblo County Commission.

A proposed 90-day contract calls for a daily rate of $5,500, in addition to $25,000 for start-up costs. That would amount to around $500,000 for 90 days, in line with the group’s $2 million proposal to operate the shelter without the Pueblo Animal Protection Act.

To that end, councilors will also vote on an emergency ordinance that would repeal the Pueblo Animal Protection Act. Passed on a 4-3 vote in December, the ordinance required the shelter provider to maintain a 90 percent live-release rate.

Critics at the time worried the benchmark wasn’t appropriate and could cause issues for the shelter. When it left on Dec. 31, HSPPR’s live-release rate was 88 percent.

Council President Dennis Flores told News 5 the city is looking at replacing the ordinance without a live-release rate requirement, and with language that would align it better with the state’s Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA).

Monday’s city council meeting starts at 7 p.m.

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