SPOKANE, Wash.--SCRAPS replaced SpokAnimal January 1st as Spokane's animal control provider.
SpokAnimal had to lay off some employees as a result, but Shelter Director Gail Mackie had high hopes for the organization’s future.
This comes after the SCRAPS opened its new regional shelter program.
WATCH: Scraps doubles in size waits for new facility
The dog kennel at SpokAnimal was empty January 2nd and unusually silent. Many of the animals were adopted out through the organization’s Home for the Holidays program.
“I knew we were going to be closed today and tomorrow and the holiday," Mackie said. "We just thought they would be better in a home than sitting in here.”
SpokAnimal will begin taking animals from other shelters across the state that are too full.
“Just before Christmas, Yakima called us and said they were bursting at the seams.” Mackie said.
SpokAnimal was contracted for animal control for 30 years by the City of Spokane. The contract termination forced SpokAnimal to lay off its animal control division of ten employees. Mackie said one of them went to SCRAPS.
“It's been difficult, especially the last two weeks when we have employees that have been here 25 to 30 years and they are crying and upset because they are leaving, but their jobs are no longer,” she said.
Still, SpokAnimal retained more than 30 employees and planned to focus on its veterinary clinic and adoptions. The shelter will also send cats to others that need them, continue bringing in dogs, run a service to match people with pets and find homes for those who enter its doors.
Mackie said in 2013 SpokAnimal found homes for nearly 4,500 animals. She expected to help as many or more under the new model, which also made SpokAnimal a no-kill shelter.