County's animal shelter decision challenged

Taylor Williams

Taylor Williams

KINGMAN - Mohave County's animal shelter contract may be reopened for bids when the Board of Supervisors meets this morning.

The current contract holder, Western Arizona Humane Society, reached a $260,000 one-year agreement with the county last June. That contract was renewed for another year Feb. 16, prompting another group - Humane Society of Mohave County - to press for a chance to bid, saying they didn't know the contract was open again.

"The day the board voted on extending the WAHS contract was the first time we had notification that the county bid was up for early approval," wrote veterinarian Taylor Williams, who directs the HSMC and the Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic, in a letter to the board. "The call for bids was never publicized through local means of advertisement, and our organization was never contacted, as promised, when the chance to bid arose."

When WAHS was negotiating its contract last year, Williams' organization was approached about submitting a bid, Williams said. That's one of the clinic's goals, but she said they had only two weeks to prepare a proposal, which wasn't enough time.

Low Cost Spay/Neuter already provides services to WAHS, and Williams noted that all Mohave County public subsidy veterinary services are performed at her clinic, which has also started a spay/neuter assistance program and obtained grant funding.

Western Arizona Humane Society has taken criticism in the past, but over the past two years has brought its euthanization rate down and worked hard to re-establish connections to other animal shelters and rescues in the region.

The animal shelter in Kingman, which is county-owned, has long been known to be too small and too outdated to serve a community that's grown as Kingman has. Advocates have long pushed local governments to build a new one, but so far that project is on the back burner.

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to meet at 9:30 a.m. today at 700 W. Beale St.