In an effort to save costs on animal services, the Aledo City Council and staff approved an alternative animal control plan in a partnership with VCA Aledo Animal Hospital last week.

At the July budget workshop, the council and staff said that the $45,880 for Weatherford animal control services was a lot of money for how little it is being utilized and so began searching around for alternatives.

“It’s one of those things where one, two or three times a year, if there’s a bite, you’re glad you’ve got them because they have to be certified and we don’t have anybody in that capacity,” Aledo City Administrator Bill Funderburk said at the July meeting. “The city of Aledo, as far as dog costs, it’s very little and this is a lot of money for one, two, three times a year.”

Place 2 Council member Matt Ribitzki agreed it was a lot of money.

“I understand the bite situation because you do have to jump through a lot of hoops when there’s a bite, but that’s a lot of money,” Ribitzki said.

The council and staff began looking at alternatives after the July meeting and came back with a solution last week.

“VCA Aledo Animal Hospital on [Interstate] 20 has agreed to take these animals, so what we will do is if we get a call, we go pick up the stray dog and then that dog will go there and they will do whatever needs to be done,” Funderburk said. “I’m very pleased that we’re going to be able to do this and we ask the council to try this for the next year.”

Aledo received pricing for quarantine and isolation space for strays and dogs who have bitten.

According to the financial implications document, quarantine kenneling, as space allows, not to exceed $50 per day; entrance exam, not to exceed $63; exit exam, not to exceed $63; rabies vaccination, not to exceed $10; isolation kenneling, as space allows, not to exceed $50 per day; stray services entrance exam, not to exceed $63; and stray services re-check exam, not to exceed $55.

Other related one-time purchase expenses include an animal crate for holding and transportation of animals, depending on size, up to $292 from Amazon; a lasso noose leash, about $120 from Amazon; and a slipknot leash, about $7 from Amazon.

“The city of Aledo would guarantee payment by it or the animal’s owner to VCA Aledo Animal Hospital for aforementioned services only. Any other medical treatment and chargeable services deemed necessary, emergency or non-emergency, must be pre-authorized by the city of Aledo,” according to the city’s financial document. “Without pre-approval by the city of Aledo, VCA Aledo Animal Hospital would risk refusal of payment for added charges beyond aforementioned services.”

The annual contractual agreement will officially begin Tuesday. 

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