CRESTVIEW, Fla., Dec. 29, 2021—The City of Crestview will no longer receive animal control service through the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society effective Jan. 1.
Throughout 2021, city staff members have 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 members attempted to negotiate a rate reflective of the current services provided while remaining fair to Crestview citizens.
On Dec. 23, PAWS representatives delivered a proposal to City Manager Tim Bolduc that included a more than 100 percent rate increase and refused further rate negotiations.
“We don’t feel that PAWS is serving our citizens at the level they deserve,” 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 Jan. 1, but 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 during the next 60 days as well as an interim plan for handling emergency issues during this period. During this time, the city plans to hire animal control officers and update the animal housing facility.
“We have a solid plan in place,” 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.”
City of Crestview news release