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County committee on animal control approved
By LESLIE KELLY
Bremerton Patriot Editor
A nine-member committee that will advise county commissioners on matters regarding animal control was approved this week.
Commissioners Josh Brown and Robert Gelder approved the measure at Monday evening’s meeting. Commissioner Charlotte Garrido was absent.
The committee will work through June and will come up with suggestions on ways to cut costs, possibly gain revenue and what kinds of services should be offered by the county.
The county currently contracts with the Kitsap Humane Society for animal control. Such things as dealing with stray animals, issues of animal cruelty and dangerous dogs are included in the contract which this year is about $370,000, according to Eric Baker, special project manager for the county.
Kitsap Humane Society also provides all of the animal control in the county, Baker said.
Because animal control is paid for with taxpayer dollars, commissioners decided to appoint the advisory committee to look into issues and see if there are things that should be done differently, Baker said.
“The committee will look at what are the core services we should be providing,” he said, “what kind of services are needed and are we doing them in the most economical manner.”
Appointed to the committee were: Steve Maxim, James Moore, Tim Anderson, Carrie L. Thompson, Heidi Wakefield, Laura Woodrum, Jim Sommerhauser, Gordon Walgren and Sean Reichle.
Baker said the members were chosen because of their knowledge of animals control issues, their experience with animal welfare issues, or their financial budgeting experience. The Kitsap Humane Society and the county both have representation on the committee.
The committee began its work this week. It will meet twice a month through June 15 when there will be a report given to commissioners. All meetings are open to the public.
Specific topics are: animal cruelty, dangerous animals, livestock-at-large, stray animals, veterinary care of strays, length of stay for animals that are found as strays, adoption and relocation programs, ferel animal trapping and release programs, animal noise complaints and pet licensing programs.