Aerial image of the Western Arizona Humane Society in Kingman, AZ. (Photo: Draco Aerial Solutions)
KINGMAN — Mohave County may be taking back the reins of the county’s animal shelter.
Currently, the Western Arizona Humane Society (WAHS) is contracted with the county to provide shelter and care for unwanted animals. But Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson, District 3, said recently that WAHS has notified the county it will not be renewing its contract. That means it must go out for bid.
“Ideally, someone qualified in animal shelter management is wanted, needed and desired,” said Johnson. “If there are no bidders, the county must take it over itself.”
WAHS took over the shelter from Mohave County Animal Control in 2009. According to the county, the shelter houses about 3,974 animals annually, with an average of 1,184 adopted out and about 372 reunited with their legal owners. The county euthanizes about 928 animals a year. The shelter has 40 dog kennels and 20 cat cages.
The bids are due by 2 p.m. May 16. Bids will be opened at 2 p.m. May 30.
The awardee will lease from the county its current animal shelter facilities at 950 Buchanan St. in Kingman. The contractor would be responsible for all shelter operations, including animal housing, animal care, animal adoptions, efforts to reunite pets with their legal owners, coordination of spay/neuter of adoptable animals, spay/neuter clinics, shot clinics, pet owner education, public outreach, fundraising and volunteer activities.
Patty Gillmore, the executive director of WAHS, said the humane society’s board sent a letter to the county procurement department, requesting a meeting to discuss the specifics of a contract renewal. She said WAHS has not received a response to its request yet.
“We have not ever, nor will we ever, turn our backs on the animals of Mohave County,” said Gillmore.
Veterinarian Taylor Williams, owner of Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic, said contracting with the county is not an option at this time. The clinic is busy with its own mission, which includes expanding care, additional staff and a new, larger building to serve the public.
“We are not able to put a bid in at this time due to short notice and our budget being allotted to projects already for the next few years,” said Williams. “ But we wish to help out in any way we can with disease management, staff training, or the management of medical or spay/neuter services.”
Mohave County Supervisor Jean Bishop, District 4, agreed with Johnson that the county will have to step up to the plate and run the shelter if no bids are received. She is optimistic that the plight of the county’s unwanted animals will touch the right person’s heart.
“I hope we get a bid from the right person who has love and compassion for lost and abandoned dogs and cats,” said Bishop. “I hope the person who gets the bid will view each case as being worthy of attention. My favorite kind of animal is a rescue.”
The county’s request for proposals can be found at https://resources.mohavecounty.us/file/Procurement/Bid%20Opportunities/2019/19P06%20MOHAVE%20COUNTY%20ANIMAL%20SHELTER%20MANAGEMENT%20SERVICES.pdf