County/city needs to stay in the animal control business

Budget woes are rippling through county and city offices unlike anything many of us have ever seen, but it’s critical some services stay intact.

If that means finding creative ways to continue providing much-needed services, so be it. Animal control is a must.

The Kitsap Humane Society is in danger of having its animal control contracts with Kitsap County and the city of Bremerton cut by large percentages. If this does indeed happen, it could be the end of animal control services for our communities. County and city officials as well as KHS staff are currently working to find a solution.

Losing a service like animal control would be detrimental. Animal control is not just about officers chasing down stray dogs and fielding noise complaints. There is so much more these officers do. They rescue beaten and battered animals that are then given second chances at life. These officers find and return animals that have lost their way. They have even chased down horses in Port Orchard that have escaped from their pens.

Kitsap County and Bremerton city governments need to step up to ensure their contracts are kept with the animal shelter. Currently, the county is looking to save $28,000 by having barking noise complaints routed to the Kitsap One line, which serves as the county’s call center. This is a good first step. Animal control is a public service that needs to stay in Kitsap County and Bremerton. Finding alternative solutions rather than scrapping the program as a whole is the responsible choice. Eliminating the service should not be an option.

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