City moving forward with animal policies

In News by Reporter News

The City of Friendswood is moving forward with a set of new animal control policies, cementing the rift between the city-run services and shelter and Friendswood Animal Advocates.

The new policies were a topic of discussion during a workshop at City Council Monday. A group of representatives from the nonprofit Friendswood Animal Advocates appeared at the meeting to voice their objections.

Longtime community volunteer Rudy Trahan said the changes have been implemented “in autocratic fashion” and announced he would no longer volunteer with Friendswood Animal Control.

The city’s new policies, which ultimately ended the city’s already rocky relationship with FAA, include not accepting animal drop-offs or animals surrendered by owners at the city-run animal shelter. The city asserts that in addition to encouraging responsible pet ownership, the no-drop-offs policy prevents the suspected drop-offs of animals from outside the city.

Animal control volunteer Debra Smith said previous policies required that the shelter workers ask for documents in determining the resident status of those who dropped off animals.

“Evidently staff has not followed these policies if animals from outside the city were allowed to be surrendered,” she said.

In addition, animal adoptions are restricted for families with children under 10 years old for animals that are “the subject of a temperament assessment.”

New policies also call for “an improved record keeping system that accurately captures and reports animal dispositions at the facility,” city documents state, as well as a 60-day holding period.

Friendswood Animal Advocates last month announced that it is withdrawing its support from the city shelter, which recently boasted a 90 percent live release rate – essentially qualifying it as a no-kill shelter.

Regardless, city leaders have opted to move forward with the new rules.

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