Pueblo City Council repeals animal protection act, approves 90-day contract with HSPPR

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At Monday night’s City Council meeting, council members repealed the Pueblo Animal Protection Act and approved a 90-day contract for the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region to take over animal shelter services.  

The Pueblo Animal Protection Act, also called PAPA, was an ordinance that required the operators of the municipal-run animal shelter to follow certain rules before euthanizing an animal, and maintain its save rate above 90 percent.

Following the passing of the ordinance, HSSPR was barely under the required 90 percent. Pueblo Animal Services took over the shelter contract on December 26.

There were a number of issues during Pueblo Animal Services’ management, including 14 animals dying in their care. 

Community Animal Services of Pueblo surrendered their license March 27 following an investigation by the Colorado Department of Agriculture that failed the shelter three separate times.

Many councilmembers and members of the community said the previous contract was “a disaster.”  

Since then, Pueblo has had no animal shelter.  

On Monday night, the city council repealed the PAPA ordinance and gate HSPPR a temporary 90-day contract. Both measures were passed with a unanimous 7-0 vote. 

“We should have got it right from the beginning,” said Dennis Flores, Pueblo City Council Representative at large.  

Many Pueblo residents said PAPA wasn’t the reason Community Animal Services of Pueblo didn’t work out. Some believed they were set up for failure and weren’t provided necessary resources or equipment.  

City Council did express interest in entering a permanent and long-term contract with HSPPR.  

“We are so happy to be part of the solution in Pueblo, making things better for people and animals,” HSPPR spokeswoman Gretchen Pressley said.

Because the shelter is owned by both the city of Pueblo and the county, the same decisions will have to be approved by the County Commissioners in their meeting Tuesday night before action can be taken. 

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