In the interest of providing a wider array of services, members of the Escalon City Council voted 5-0 previously to partner with the City of Oakdale, with that city’s police department taking on animal control services.
“The hours of operation will increase to 39 hours per week for Escalon residents,” city officials noted in an announcement. “These shelter services are located at 9800 Liberini Road (Oakdale). More services will be available for adoptions and spay and neuter clinics.”
The vote by the Escalon council was 5-0 in favor of the change, which takes effect in November. The current Animal Shelter on River Road in Escalon will be utilized for ‘overflow’ animals, as the Oakdale Police Department also contracts with the City of Riverbank to provide that community with animal control services.
Escalon City Manager Dominique Romo said the change will make it easier for residents who have often found the shelter closed and the phone going unanswered.
“It has been difficult to fill the positions because they are part-time,” Romo admitted of the animal control service posts in the city.
Now, with the contractual agreement, Escalon will pay Oakdale to handle the calls. To request service, the phone number for Escalon residents remains the same, 209-838-9908.
“No changes to fees will occur at this time,” city officials added.
Romo said that Escalon Police Chief Gus Flores was instrumental in working out the contractual agreement.
“He has taken the lead on working with Oakdale to successfully transfer animal services over,” Romo noted.
To find out more about the enhanced services, go to https://www.oakdalegov.com/animal-services
For Oakdale, members of that city’s council approved the motion to take on animal control services for Escalon at a council meeting on Oct. 3. The arrangement is set up in virtually the same way they’ve folded in animal control services for the City of Riverbank, in a partnership that creates a favorable outcome for all involved.
Escalon requested an extended contract that will start in November and be up for renewal on June 30, 2027. Romo said the contract comes in at a slightly lower cost that what the city is currently paying for its animal control services.
“Sufficient funds are available for this service agreement in the Fiscal Year 2022-23 Annual Budget,” the staff report for Escalon City Council indicated. “Any savings from this change will be determined at the end of the fiscal year and will be made part of the General Fund reserves.”
Currently, the Oakdale Animal Shelter staff consists of two full-time animal control officers, one full-time shelter attendant, and one part-time shelter attendant.
With the new agreement, OPD will bring animal control staffing to three full-time animal control officers, one full-time shelter attendant, and one part-time shelter attendant.
Within the new agreement, the City of Oakdale will provide veterinarian/medical services for animals captured within the City of Escalon including but not limited to: euthanasia drugs, dog and cat food, animal disposal services, spay and neutering, cleaning and drain chemicals, and miscellaneous supply items.
Emergency Call Outs for the City of Escalon will be as follows:
INJURED/SICK ANIMALS: When any injured/sick stray domestic or non-domestic animal weighing less than 150 pounds is found in a public place and the owner is unknown or untraceable. Owned injured/sick animals are the responsibility of the owner.
STRAY ANIMAL BITE: When any animal or species known to be endemic to rabies (generally warm-blooded mammals), bites or exposes a human and the owner is unknown, (known owned animals are to be confined by the owner, and an Oakdale Animal Services Officer can handle the case the following work day).
DANGEROUS ANIMALS: When any animal is presenting an immediate danger to the public safety.
AGENCY ASSISTANCE: An Oakdale Animal Services Officer will respond to emergency call-outs, once the emergency has been verified by an on-duty peace officer, when available, or authorized security officer working under contract for the City of Escalon, when available.
PUBLIC SAFETY: On occasion, animal control calls that are determined to pose a public safety concern, which do not meet the definitions of an emergency as previously stated requires animal control service. Such incidents will be verified by an Escalon Police Services Officer, or an Escalon contracted Security Officer, or other Escalon personnel as designated by the City Manager.
Reporter Kim Van Meter contributed to this story.