A single bid, from Dr. Charles Freeman, was opened at the Altus City Complex on Thursday, Oct. 25, for a veterinarian wishing to perform euthanasia for many animals at the Altus Animal Control. Details on the options and cost factors will be available early next week. In an effort to find alternatives to using the carbon monoxide gas chamber, the Altus City Council, at their Oct. 2 meeting, approved seeking bids for euthanasia by injection. The estimated number of animals euthanized average 15 to 30 per month, according to Dan Meyer, Animal Control Supervisor.
The City of Altus has been offered a $2,000 grant from the Humane Society of the United States. In her letter to Mayor Webb and City Council members, Cynthia Armstrong, the Oklahoma State Director of The Humane Society of the United States, reiterated her offer of the grant by stating:
“When considering bid proposals submitted by local veterinarians for euthanasia services for the animal shelter, please keep in mind that The Humane Society of the United States would still like to offer a grant in the amount of $2,000 to assist the Altus Animal Shelter in transitioning to euthanasia by injection. These funds could be used for purchase of a table or other equipment necessary for euthanasia on the shelter premises or for assistance with veterinary costs associated with euthanasia. In return, we ask that the shelter dismantle their gas chamber as a good faith sign of their commitment to humane euthanasia. Grant funds could also be used to offset any costs associated with dismantling and disposal of the carbon monoxide chamber. Dismantling the gas chamber is important as a tangible sign to the public of the shelter’s new commitment to humane euthanasia, and would be a great opportunity for positive press and goodwill towards the shelter in the community.”
Bidders could choose among the three options on the bid form. Option 1 offered transportation of animals to the bidder’s facility for euthanasia and disposal. Option 2 stated the bidder will come to the Altus Animal Shelter to perform these services and the City will dispose of the animals. Option 3 was the same as Option 2, but the bidder would dispose of the animals. Dr. Freeman added a fourth option, essentially option 1, but with the City disposing of the animals.
Armstrong stated in her letter, “We also strongly encourage that the euthanasia of shelter animals be performed at the shelter by the contracting veterinarian. Euthanizing animals at the shelter is a more humane and safer option than transporting them from the shelter to another location, and would alleviate additional stress on the animals and shelter employees caused by the transport process.”
The bid form also stated “The City reserves the right to reject any or all bids and to study all bids prior to award.” At this point, City Purchasing is preparing the bid information for submission to the City Council. To fund the process, in addition to the grant offered, the Council could request the Finance Director, James Wilson to make a budget amendment for it. That budget amendment is usually approved at the following Council meeting.