A proposed plan to privatize city-parish animal sheltering operations could be in place Aug. 1, Parish Attorney Mary Roper said.
A proposed cooperative endeavor agreement has been drawn up that would transfer city-parish money, in-kind city-parish services and the official authority to run shelter operations to the nonprofit Companion Animal Alliance.
The Metro Council is slated to take the agreement under consideration at its July 27 meeting, Roper said.
Under the proposed agreement, the CAA would handle sheltering and adoption operations, and East Baton Rouge Animal Control and Rescue would continue to be in charge of enforcement and rescue issues.
City-Parish Animal Control Director Hilton Cole could not be reached for comment.
The proposed agreement is for three years, said Christel Slaughter, CAA’s chairwoman.
CAA, Slaughter said, has already picked out an executive director.
Laura L. Hinze, operations director for PAWS Chicago, has accepted CAA’s offer to begin work in Baton Rouge as the group’s executive director July 25, Slaughter said.
“We are very excited about Laura. She has a lot of experience with shelter operations and adoptions, and she seems to have a very calm demeanor,” Slaughter said.
Slaughter said it hasn’t yet been determined how much Hinze will be paid to head operations.
According to the proposed agreement, for year one — from Aug. 1 to Dec. 31 — CAA would receive approximately $348,000. Of that amount, $159,850 would be for in-kind parish services such as use of the animal control facility and the payment of utilities.
The amount for the second year would be approximately $836,000 — with $383,630 of that amount used for in-kind services and $452,730 in parish funds, according to the agreement.
That total annual income for CAA does not includes private donations or grants.
In fall 2010, CAA began negotiating with the city-parish, hoping to obtain $700,000 to $1 million in funds that could be combined with private donations to run a new shelter.
The deal then fell apart in November when the city-parish offered the nonprofit only 25 percent of its animal control budget of $537,000.
CAA continued to negotiate with the city-parish because the nonprofit’s leaders said they thought shelter operations could still be improved with the amount offered.
During a meeting in February, Marsha Hanlon, city-parish finance director, offered CAA $573,900.
Slaughter said her group still has a lot of donations to seek to take over sheltering operations.
Slaughter said she hopes CAA will be able to raise enough money over time to create a new sheltering facility.
For the time being, CAA will share the animal control center with city-parish employees.
City-parish employees who work the sheltering side of operations will be offered jobs with CAA, Slaughter said.
Slaughter said the number of employees that would be affected is about nine or less.