(Photo courtesy of PAWR Animal Control / Jason Hamm)

PAWR animal contract, upcoming CK events’ alcohol plans up for approval

Chatham-Kent’s animal control contract and a special designation for some local spring and summer festivals are both up for approval Monday night.

Depending on the outcome of Monday night’s Chatham-Kent council meeting, Pet and Wildlife Rescue (PAWR) could be awarded a five-year contract for animal control and pound services for all of Chatham-Kent at a cost of $4.1 million. PAWR has been proving animal control services for Chatham and South Kent since 2016 and in North Kent and Wallaceburg since 2017.

When the municipality advertised a request for proposal seeking animal control and pound services for all of Chatham-Kent, PAWR was the only submission that was received.

Predator Animal Control is currently the provider for West Kent (Tilbury, Wheatley) and Glencoe Animal Shelter for East Kent. Both of those contracts expire in March.

Right now, stray dogs from West Kent are taken to the Lakeshore Pound in Puce while stray dogs from East Kent are taken to an animal shelter in Glencoe, but with Chatham’s new animal shelter almost complete, all stray dogs in Chatham-Kent are expected to be taken to the animal shelter in either Wallaceburg or Chatham, both of which are operated by PAWR.

PAWR was established on January 1st, 2014 to provide independent animal rescue services. The organization received a non-profit designation in May 2014 and charitable status in September 2015.

Animal control and pound services costs are currently covered under licensing services in Chatham-Kent’s base budget. The overall financial impact of the decision would be an increase of $1 million over five years.

PAWR currently has 12 staff and over 80 volunteers and is expected to hire two additional full-time workers if the motion is approved.

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Will summertime events in CK be significant enough to allow booze sales?

Another item up for approval at Chatham-Kent council Monday night is a “municipality significant” designation for several upcoming festivals, which would allow organizers of those events to obtain a liquor license.

Municipal staff are recommending that FunDaze in Ridgetown in March, Chatham Art in the Park in Chatham in June, Tilbury Art in the Park in Tilbury in August, Chatham-Kent Ribfest in Chatham in July and RetroFest in Chatham in June all receive the designation.

The FunDaze hockey tournament is set to take place at East Kent Memorial Arena while Chatham Art in the Park, Ribfest, and Retrofest are all hoping to get Special Occasion Permits to sell alcohol in Tecumseh Park and Tilbury Art in the Park is hoping to obtain the designation for Odette Memorial Park.