Pittsburgh plans to extend contract with nonprofit animal shelter for more than $ 1 million

Pittsburgh City Council is considering a proposal to expand the city’s partnership with Humane Animal Rescue, a non-profit organization that welcomes stray animals and facilitates the adoption process.

Humane Animal Rescue has partnered with the city’s Bureau of Animal Care and Control for approximately 15 years.

The contract proposed to the council would extend those services until 2024 at a total cost of more than $ 1 million.

It comes after City Comptroller Michael Lamb released a performance audit of the Bureau of Animal Care and Control in October. During the audit, he identified the office’s contract with Humane Animal Rescue as an area of ​​”immediate concern”.

Partnership is a necessity, as the city does not have its own shelter to take care of stray animals.

There have been cost increases in recent years, but the city has continued to expand its deal with the nonprofit shelter, according to the audit.

“The city needs to weigh the benefits and costs of building our own shelter,” Lamb said during the audit. “The services provided by Humane Animal Rescue are substantial. It is imperative (that the office) does a full cost-benefit analysis.

Some other cities of comparable size to Pittsburgh have built their own shelters, an option recommended by the audit.

In response to the audit, Lee Schmidt, deputy director of operations and administration of the Office of Animal Care and Control of the Department of Public Safety, said that the assessment of the possibility of establishing a shelter owned by the city was “quite the responsible action to take”.

Considering such a step “is by no means a reflection on the current contract and relationship with Humane Animal Rescue”, but an effort to ensure that the department is “efficient and accountable” in its use of children’s money. taxpayers, he said.

Humane Animal Rescue CEO Dan Rossi told Tribune-Review he knows the city is considering starting its own shelter. Rossi said Humane Animal Rescue “would happily work with them” and continue to offer help “in any way they can” if the city takes this route.

Rossi said the city was already in contract negotiations to extend the deal when the performance audit was released.

The proposed contract was presented on Tuesday without discussion. The Council could take a final vote on the measure in two weeks.

Julia Felton is an editor for Tribune-Review. You can contact Julia at 724-226-7724, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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