By Miriam Raftery
May 4, 2018 (Santee) – The County of San Diego will no longer provide animal services to contracted cities including Santee starting July 1st. So, the Santee City Council voted last week to have the San Diego Humane Society and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) take over animal control in Santee starting July 1st.
The deal will cost Santee $424,804 in the first year, about $35,000 more than the city paid the county annually.
In addition to providing animal control services that the county previously provided, including sheltering lost pets and enforcing laws to protect public safety, the Humane Society will respond to barking dog complaints, a task that currently falls to the Sheriff.
The costs will be partially offset by dog licenses, adoptions, citations and other fees.
A key issue is how far pet owners will need to travel to retrieve lost pets. Under the county’s plan, wayward pets found in Santee were taken to Bonita. Santee tried to persuade El Cajon to provide services to Santee, but El Cajon declined, the city manager told Council.
So, pet owners in Santee will have to go to the Humane Society’s facility on Gaines Street in San Diego near the University of San Diego initially to pick up lost animals. Santee is, however, considering building its own temporary animal holding facility to hold animals during the day, to save owners an out of town trip.
The contract is for three years, though the city has an option to terminate with one-year advance written notice.