Fairbanks borough Animal Control Commission called on to discuss policy changes

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 4:20 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks North Star Borough Animal Control Commission was called on to discuss potential policy changes for the shelter.

According to Sandy Hill, Manager of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Animal Shelter, Borough Mayor Bryce Ward called on the commission after the defeat of an ordinance that sought to make amendments to policies that impact animal shelters and other similar organizations in the borough.

“The mayor sent out a commission after ordinance 2011-15 was defeated,” Hill explained, “so the mayor asked for some suggestions to make some changes that could help to improve the operations of animal control. He was particularly interested in changes to Title 22, and to improve the ability for animal control staff to determine the legal ownership of animals, to promote registration of animals with animal control, and to improve basically just an overall public process.”

The commission had two main ideas that were the focus of their first workshop - the first being to find a method to encourage residents to microchip and register their animals with the shelter.

“Some of the ideas were to encourage citizens to microchip their animals and register with animal control,” Hill elaborated, “so that if their animals ever did come into our facility, we could contact them immediately and get the animals home. Perhaps it wouldn’t be mandatory, but incentivized, so there would be an incentive to do that - maybe a ‘get out of jail free card.’ Or, some suggestions were maybe promotions with other businesses... some kind of incentive to get a microchip for your animal and to register that animal with animal control.”

Along with this, the commission sought to find a way to streamline the process of an owner claiming their pet in the event of the animal not having identification.

Hill continued, “Another idea was for the animals that were stray, that didn’t have any identification, that instead of going through a long, drawn out process of trying to figure out if the owner that claims to be the owner is the real owner, have them come in, sign that they’re the owner with an ID and a legal signature that says ‘I’m the owner.’ That takes the burden off of animal control to try to prove ownership, but also allows for those who want to have the positive identification on their animals to go ahead and do so.”

The commission is still in the early stages of developing ideas to help provide the best service possible for our furry friends and their families.

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