#Animal Rights
D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams
United States of America

Whereas, the District of Columbia government is currently in the process of awarding a new contract to manage the city's animal control and animal shelter efforts.

Whereas, the last time the city undertook this process, five years ago, the contract was initially awarded to an underqualified, inexperienced, and poorly funded organization.

Whereas, just four months later, the shelter was in chaos, the animals' living areas were filthy, and the adoptions program was in total disarray.

Whereas, at the time, dogs and cats were packed in overcrowded conditions and left in cages covered with their own waste, often with little or no food, while sick and injured animals sometimes went for days without treatment.

Whereas, only after a series of news stories uncovered the horrific conditions there and the D.C. Council held a hearing on the issue was a new contract awarded to the Washington Humane Society, the group that currently manages both programs.

Whereas, it appears that a similar process is unfolding this year, and that the contract may once again be awarded to an organization that does not have the experience, qualifications, or financial stability to fulfill its mission in aiding and protecting the animals and people of the city.

Whereas, the city's budget process has left this year's contract vastly underfunded.

Whereas, the DC animal control and shelter programs cost roughly $1.3 million to run in the current fiscal year, yet the city's budget for next year only allocates $700,000 for both programs.

Whereas, the average amount spent on animal control in 16 comparable U.S. cities is $2.62 per resident per year, yet the District would be spending less than half that amount -- only $1.22 per person. (source: National Animal Control Association)

Whereas, it would clearly be difficult, if not impossible, for any organization to provide the animal control and shelter services the people and animals of D.C. deserve for the amount budgeted by the city.

Whereas, dozens of prominent animal welfare and pet support organizations have joined together in the Coalition for the D.C. Animal Shelter to fight for the city's animal shelter and control contract to be fully funded and awarded to a qualified group.

Whereas, the goal of the Coalition is not to advocate or promote the merits of any particular humane organization in the contract process, only to ensure that the contract is fully funded and fairly awarded to a qualified organization.

Whereas, the Coalition believes that any organization hired to run the shelter and animal control needs to be experienced in law enforcement, have a track record in shelter management and be financially stable.

I, the undersigned, offer my voice in support of the goals of the Coalition for the D.C. Animal Shelter and urge Mayor Williams and the District of Columbia government:

1. To fully fund the city's animal control and shelter programs.

2. To award the city's animal control and shelter contract to a qualified, experienced, and financially stable humane organization.

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The Coalition for the DC Animal Shelter petition to D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams was written by Tamara Kukla and is in the category Animal Rights at GoPetition.