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Hidalgo County reevaluating animal control options could mean loss of funding for Palm Valley Animal Society

Hidalgo County reevaluating animal control options could mean loss of funding for Palm Valley Animal Society
1 year 3 days 2 hours ago Tuesday, July 18 2023 Jul 18, 2023 July 18, 2023 9:32 PM July 18, 2023 in News - Local

Hidalgo County is reevaluating its partnership with the Palm Valley Animal Society, which serves as the county's animal control.

The county says it's looking into other animal control options that would come at a lower cost.

But that possibility has PVAS worried about what that could mean for them.

 “My main fear is what happens to all of these animals, where do they go,” PVAS Director of Operations Faith Wright said. 

The shelter gets a bulk of its funding from Hidalgo County, Wright said.

“They are paying $237 per animal,” Wright said. “We have to rely on grants and donations to make up that extra money.”

The county currently pays more than $88,000 a month to the shelter. By the end of the 2022-2023 fiscal year, Hidalgo County will have provided $1.6 million in funding, and the county is looking to cut back on that cost.

“We have two duties: to provide the service and do it at the cheapest cost,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said.

A feasibility study ordered by the county suggests one way the county can save money on animal control is by building a new facility they would operate.

According to the study, operating that facility would cost anywhere between $708,000 and $2 million per year.

It’s an increase to what the county is currently paying Palm Valley per year.

The county is not ready to sever ties with PVAS, Cortez added.

“We are not considering cutting ties with the Palm Valley Animal Services, what we are doing is [seeing] the different alternatives available to us to receive the service that we want at the lowest cost,” Cortez said. “For us to reach a conclusion, we have to review all options.”

The discussion still has Wright worried about the future of the shelter, as the money it receives from the county is used to provide vaccines, medical care and food.

Cortez says renewing their deal with the shelter is not off the table.

Watch the video above for the full story. 

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