John Baccala with the city’s Neighborhood and Housing Services Department announced changes to operations in the Animal Health and Public Safety Department Monday morning at city hall.
Citing the pending outsourcing of the Animal Health and Public Safety Department next May, staffing changes and protocol on calls for service handled by Animal Health Officers will be taking effect immediately.
Currently there are seven AHO’s and two Special Investigators that will be operating from 8am to 7pm Monday through Friday. Limited staff will be on hand on weekends from 8am to 5pm. The city is seeking KCPD’S assistance with after hours calls.
“We will continue to respond to emergency calls such as bites, animal cruelty, wildlife in homes or assisting KCPD when needed” said Baccala. “Those are roughly 90% of the calls we currently respond to currently” he added.
According to Baccala, stray calls or nuisance calls such as barking dogs will not be handled. “In a perfect world we would have three times the number of AHO’s in the field” Baccala stated, citing the upcoming merger with KC Pet Project and staffing issues.
According to Baccala, residents will notice little or no difference in the way Animal Health calls are handled. KC Pet Project will take over all of the citys Animal Health and Public Safety operations on May 1, 2020.