Throughout 2021, city staff has been negotiating a contract renewal with PAWS for animal control services. Approximately three months ago, PAWS presented a 90-day contract extension ultimatum. During this time, staff attempted to negotiate a rate reflective of the current services provided while remaining fair to Crestview citizens. On December 23, 2021, PAWS representatives delivered a proposal to City Manager Tim Bolduc that included a rate increase of over 100% and refused further rate negotiations.
"We don't feel that PAWS is serving our citizens at the level they deserve," City Manager Tim Bolduc said. "Between their withdrawal from the North Okaloosa shelter in Laurel Hill and their lack of response in helping deal with feral cats, they are asking us to pay for services that aren't available."
The City will begin providing emergency animal control service on the first of January, but we will not be accepting animal drop-offs at this time. Starting Jan. 1, citizens should contact 850.682.2055 for animal control. There will be a transitional period over the next 60 days, and there is an interim plan for handling emergency issues during this period. This time will be used to hire animal control officers and update the animal housing facility.
"We have a solid plan in place," Mr. Bolduc said. "We ask for our citizens to be patient as we navigate this transition. In the end, we believe we will be able to provide a much higher level of service."