Animal control officer Ryla Pavlisick has completed training and has begun working the streets of Delta Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. Police officers will continue to respond to reports of dog bites and vicious or aggressive animals when Pavlisick is not on duty.
The resumption of animal control enforcement in the City of Delta is part of a two-pronged approach that includes collaboration with Delta County Citizens for Animal Welfare and Shelter (CAWS) to operate the city's animal shelter.
Both the animal shelter operation and animal control enforcement were severely curtailed in 2011 due to budget constraints.
The agreement with CAWS is seen as a win-win situation for both the city and CAWS, which does not have an animal shelter. CAWS' JoAnn Kalanek, who will be acting as the shelter director, said the partnership will allow the city to again provide animal services to its citizens while providing needed visibility and accessibility for animals awaiting adoptions.
CAWS will immediately begin training with existing shelter staff and will officially assume all operations and management of the shelter on April 1.
"We are so pleased to have this opportunity to work with the City of Delta and to restore the shelter to its previous operating capacity," Kalanek said.
The shelter has 12 dog kennels, six of which will be dedicated to the City of Delta for impounds and quarantined dogs. The other six will house adoptable pets in CAWS' program, some of which may be city impounds which have been relinquished after a five-day holding period.
CAWS will be assuming $39,650 in expenses, representing the majority of annual operating costs for the shelter. The City of Delta is providing use of the facility, including utilities and any needed repairs, and will pay CAWS approximately $7,000 annually in fees associated with the care and feeding of animals impounded or quarantined by City of Delta animal control.
The fines levied for dogs at large, non-licensure and animal cruelty will continue to be paid to the City of Delta.
The animal shelter is open Thursday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred. If you have lost a pet and think it may be at the shelter, call 874-1078.
Eventually, CAWS intends to staff the shelter seven days a week with trained volunteers, augmented by paid staff. Animal shelter technician Teresa Kallsen is currently the sole paid employee. As of April 1, she will cease being a city employee and will become an employee of CAWS.
"Getting the community involved in the shelter is one of our biggest goals," said Alison LePage, CAWS development director. "There will be a variety of volunteer opportunities at the shelter and we really need people who care about animals to join us in making the shelter a success."
Volunteers are currently being sought for assisting with animals and adoptions at the shelter, as well as for fostering animals in their home.