County to Lose City's Animal Control Services 7/19/13
CBS 7 News
July 18, 2013
Odessa, TX - Ector County will soon be without animal control services after receiving a notification that the city will no longer continue their agreement to work outside of their limits.
For many years the animal control facility in Odessa has made their services available to the people inside and outside the city limits.
Holly Dool is one of the many people using this service, but soon Holly and others who live in Ector County will no longer be able to call the city's animal control to come out and help in less than three months the contract for animal control services from the city to county will not be renewed.
“It's going to be bad for the dogs out the county,” she said. “I live out in the county too, but I come here and adopt the dogs out as often as I can.”
But Andrea Goodson with The City of Odessa says with a growing population they're overwhelmed in their jurisdiction alone.
“The city's focus is the city of Odessa and its citizens,” she said.
“It's going to be burdensome for the county without a doubt,” said Ector County Judge Susan Redford, “We’ll need to create a new department we’re going to have to look at adding additional personnel, training, licensing; and everything that goes with animal control.”
Judge Redford says they will have to find a solution fast, but it’s going to come with a cost.
“In order to meet the requirement to provide an animal control,” she explains, “We may have to do away with the departments that we’re not required operate.”
That department maybe The Medical Examiners Office, but shutting down the department that handles investigations related to deaths can bring on another set of problems. The county's Justice of the Peace will have to take on the new responsibilities that require the judges have more training.
“You have to weigh needs versus haves,” Redford said.
Goodson says the county gave $60,000 a year to the city for their services.
The city will still take in county animals brought to them and will continue to assist the Ector County Sheriff's Office.
“If there's a case with livestock where they (ECSO) need help housing or health just rounding the animals up, the city can help them,” said Goodson.
But Holly believes in the end it is her four-legged-friends who will be in the doghouse.
“I think it's going to be difficult for those dogs that are out on the streets and don't get any help,” she said
County Commissioners begin discussing their budget on the July 29.
Judge Susan Redford advises all concerned citizens county and city to contact their commissioners and councilmen.