Animal Control
Announcement by Jeff - 10/18/2022 at 12:16 PM
Employee Post
Hi board,

Clay confirmed we’d have someone from All American Dogs at our next meeting. Depending on where we opt to let that discussion go afterwards, I wanted to share my research so we’re all on the same page and you have the opportunity to fact-check.

On 1/7/22 Jerry reported via the tracker that there was a dead animal on the sidewalk near the Front Porch. You can find this ticket and subsequent communication here on the Tracker
On 1/10/22 Tim stated to Angie that Benchmark handled the removal but that she should circle back with having the Districts contract with an animal person to remove things.
On 1/20/22 Angie replied that she spoke with AAD and that he would be sending a proposal to the board.
On 1/26/22 This was on the agenda. The subsequent meeting notes state “Ms. Terrell explained the recent problem with dead animals on District roadways and requested the board authorize the solicitation of proposals…”
On 2/16/22 All American attended the board meeting and the board agreed to enter into a contract with them.

per the contract their scope is “Animal control issues on District road right-of-way, detention ponds, an parks and open areas.”

I collected the data from the prior six months of AAD activity:
*Loose animal reported but they couldn’t find it - 4
*Came for a contained stray - 4
*Responded to a barking complaint - 2 (same home, days apart)
*Add Or remove a live trap - 2
*Responded to a welfare concern - 1
*Removed a dead animal from roadway - 1

Additionally, patrols are done on average once per week. The patrols have never resulted in any documented activity. Some patrols did happen after a service call since they were in the area.

At the time of the contract we paid $48,540.80 or $22.40 per home. The price increases by $22.40 per home. However, every October 1st (now) rates will rise 4%. So our go-forward price of $22.40 + 4% = $23.30. And the developer states we have 2,116 occupied homes bringing the new annual cost to $49,302.80.

I also researched our default service, Denton County Animal Control. A search of Harvest Residents Facebook identified several posts in years past regarding animal control responding to a stray. Posts by Emily Forcher-Ward indicated she had a contained cat that Denton County was coming to take to a shelter. Kristina Bolles Smith posted generically advising residents that animal control was on their want to pick up a cat she had. Debbie Davis Nicholson also posted about animal control being on their way to pick up a stray. Mitch Blackford posted about a dog he had in his backyard that was staying with him until animal control arrived. Wendy Youskauskas stated that Denton County Animal Control was called on her neighbor for pets being left out on one of the 100+ degree days and that they did respond. All of these anecdotes pre-date our relationship with All American Dogs. They indicate that our residents have used the services of Denton County Animal Control, included in our Denton County taxes, when they have been unwilling or unable to take them to a local animal shelter themselves.

A search for Denton County Animal Control indicates that places such as Justin, Corinth, Denton FWSD#10 (which is significantly larger than us), and Lantana all use the Denton County Animal Control. However, Lantana does direct their residents to call the District directly for dead animals. This seems to indicate that the only animal control services needed by Lantana residents not provided by Denton County are dead animal removal. Which was the original problem Belmont District 1 was attempting to solve for. I reached out asking what their solution provider was but have not yet heard back.

There are also news articles about Denton County Animal Control deputies investigating cases of reported abuse. One in Aubrey where they seized animals. So they do significant welfare work too.

Based on the animal control activity that we now have reported to us, data that the board did not have at the time of contract execution, it appears that we can save our taxpayers by returning routine animal control services to Denton County. But we can/should explore an on-call option for the rare dead animal removal need as requested by Hillwood. The full service package offered by All American Dogs does not, in my opinion, fit our District. It’s a buy-up that I see as unnecessary, in hindsight. This is an ongoing, significant expense that we should reevaluate now that we have the data and narrow services down to what our residents need.

I am not opposed to a relationship with All American Dogs, but I feel we need to solicit multiple bids to the various animal removal companies advertising in North Texas. And if All American is the lowest bidder for that, we can narrow the scope of their services.

I look forward to hearing your perspectives and from the representatives from All American Dogs.

Jeff Riggs

Belmont FWSD

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