Call for extension of re-homing agreement

THE director of Infrastructure Services has called for a renewal of the agreement between Angus Council and the dog re-homing charity Help for Abandoned Animals (HFAA).

Eric Lowson made the proposal to extend the agreement by a further two years at a committee meeting earlier this week.

He also called for approval for the award of a £5,000 grant per year to the HFAA.

Mr Lowson said: “The council is required to seize and detain stray dogs and then attempt to trace their owners in terms of section 149 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

“The dogs are kept in commercially-operated kennels for up to seven days while the process of tracing owners is undertaken. At the end of the seven day period, unclaimed dogs are transferred to HFAA, who retain these dogs until such time as they can find suitable new owners for them.”

The HFAA is the only registered charity in the local area which has facilities large enough to cope with the number of animals involved. Mr Lowson said: “They have consistently provided an excellent service for the council in this regard, and have developed close working relationships with council staff and staff of the commercial kennels, presently retaining strays for the initial seven day period.

“Dogs are housed in high quality accommodation while the charity assesses prospective new owners; this process is carried out professionally and quickly in order to ensure that dogs are re-homed within a reasonably short period of time. Any dogs in a poor state of health receive prompt and appropriate medical attention, where necessary.”

So far the agreement which is in place between the council and HFAA has proved to be beneficial to both parties. Mr Lowson said: “It has ensured that Angus Council has been able to perform its statutory duty to dispose of stray dogs, and has also provided HFAA with a valuable source of income which has allowed them to operate on a secure financial footing.”

He added: “There are no other charities in the local area known to be providing a similar service. Applying the procurement process would therefore be highly unlikely to add value for Angus Council and would put a valuable local charity to unnecessary cost and effort.

“It is therefore proposed that the council should continue with the existing service provision arrangements and enter into a new service level agreement for a further two year period.”

The cost to Angus Council is thought to be less than £5,000 a year and less than £10,000 over the course of two years.

The agreement states that the payment level will be reviewed every two years.

Mr Lowson concluded: ”The existing service provided by the local charity HFAA in re-homing stray dogs has been of an excellent standard since the service level agreement was signed in September 2007.”