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No long-term contract yet for Pueblo’s animal shelter, negotiations continue

Posted at 10:17 PM, May 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-11 00:26:39-04

PUEBLO – The clock is ticking to get a long-term contract in place for Pueblo’s animal shelter.

It comes after Community Animal Services of Pueblo shut down in March following a state investigation.

The shelter is under a 90-day contract with Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region. There was a meeting on Friday to discuss expectations and negotiate as the short-term contract ends in July.

Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar said, “Nobody wants to go through what we went through just this last year.”

2019 has been a roller coaster ride when it comes to animal services in Pueblo. The city had said goodbye to HSPPR and awarded a new contract to PAWS for Life.

“PAWS did not work out as you know. Their license was taken away by the state Department of Agriculture.”

That happened following an investigation that revealed horrible conditions at the facility.

“Since that license was taken we’ve been having shelter services and animal control services provided by Pikes Peak Humane Society on a temporary basis.”

Until a long-term contract is in place only limited services are allowed.

“I think there’s enough hands at the shelter to take care of all the animals, but the animal control is not as robust as we’d like it to be.”

Gradisar said the shelter has taken in 200-300 animals over the past month and they’re not doing adoptions right now.

“They don’t have as much equipment. They don’t have as many employees down here because it’s difficult to hire employees and tell them well, this is a 90-day job.”

So the focus now is to nail down a lengthy contract as soon as possible, but the mayor wouldn’t reveal any details on the negotiations.

“What I would say is this was a very productive meeting today where expectations got put on the table.”

As of Friday there were no upcoming meetings scheduled to discuss this issue. The Dumb Friends League animal shelter in Denver is still helping to transport animals from Pueblo.