City Council members will make a decision early next month about what to do to combat unwanted wildlife in Chickasha.
Right now, the two animal welfare officers are not certified to handle wild animals. They respond mainly to stray dogs and cats as well as dead animals in the roadways.
City Manager Stewart Fairburn said he has recommended three different options for council to decide on. The overall goal is to alleviate some of the pressure on the two animal welfare officers to respond to so many calls with so few resources.
Option one would be for the city to completely get out of the wild animal business. In this scenario, when a citizen would call about wildlife, they would be referred to a private pest control company to take care of the problem. The bill would also go to that citizen.
A second option would be to contract a private pest control company through the city. If that were to happen, the next hurdle would be to figure out who would pay for such a service.
Lastly, the city could have its animal welfare officers trained and certified to handle wildlife calls. Fairburn said that would cost time and money, taking away from the work those officers already do on the streets and in the city's animal shelter.
"Both of our animal control officers are running a seven-day operation,” explained Fairburn. “Even with volunteer help, we're pretty much overwhelmed."
Fairburn told News 9 that one of the first two options would probably work best for Chickasha. It would reduce time and money spent on handling wildlife calls, while allowing the officers to focus on their current duties. They are responsible for taking care of the 60+ dogs and cats in the “low-kill” shelter that are housed there on any given day.