The city of Soldotna has decided to close its animal shelter and consolidate with Kenai to care for impounded animals.
The Soldotna City Council passed a resolution at its meeting Wednesday night to enter a one-year agreement with Kenai to provide animal shelter services for Soldotna animals at the Kenai animal shelter.
Starting July 1, Soldotna will pay $42,000 to Kenai for the care of 150 animals. Soldotna will pay an additional $284 for each additional animal over the initial 150.
“The initial term of the agreement is set for one year and if the partnership is successful, it would be appropriate to consider longer-term agreements in the future,” said Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen.
The resolution comes on the heels of a decline in the number of animals impounded at the Soldotna Animal Shelter. In 2013, 329 animals were impounded but in 2018, just 105 were. The Kenai Animal Shelter cares for more than 800 animals annually, with the capacity to accept additional animals.
The ordinance reduces expenditure in the animal control department by $58,000 annually. The Soldotna Animal Shelter will close, but the city of Soldotna will still staff a full-time animal control officer.
“In addition to significant cost savings, this partnership will provide operational benefits, such as relocating the Animal Control Officer to the Soldotna Police Department, where they can assist and collaborate on other enforcement activities and city projects,” Queen said. “Though shelter services would relocate to Kenai, Soldotna residents will still have a full-time animal control officer available to respond to their needs for service in the city. I feel this will allow us to provide better service in a more cost-effective manner.”