Battle Over Delaware's Animal Control Coming To A Close - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Battle Over Delaware's Animal Control Coming To A Close

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DOVER, Del.- One of the items up for discussion on the last day of the legislative session is the future of animal control in the first state.

Right now animal control is handled by each individual county but that could soon change as the state is trying to take authority.

"The fight is over who gets stray dogs in the state of Delaware," explains Kent County SPCA Executive Director, Kevin Usilton. "Is it the First State Animal Center which has complete coverage of the entire state. Or is it going to the Office of Animal Welfare".

The Joint Finance Committee added an epilogue to the state's operating budget that would transfer authority from the counties and give it to the state. If approved, the Office of Animal Welfare would control stray animals, regulate and inspect kennels and shelters, among other things.

It's a battle SPCA says they are trying to win. If not, that would mean a lot of changes to the non-profit.

"If we no longer have that, that's three quarters of our business," said Usilton. "Three quarters of our non-profit employees would lose their positions, we'd have to shut down our off-sites, shut down our pet smart adoption center and quit taking in stray families. We'll only be able to accept animals that are given up by their owners who no longer can care for them."

State officials say they would not comment on the matter until a decision is made Tuesday night.

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