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Council cancels city-owned animal shelter following deal with CAS

Photo courtesy of the Cheyenne Animal Shelter Facebook.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The Cheyenne Animal Shelter will continue operating as Laramie County’s largest adoption agency following a contract agreement between its board of directors and the city of Cheyenne.

The directors voted on March 22 to approve a deal offer from the city that would restore their $800,000 contract, Mayor Patrick Collins announced during the City Council’s Monday meeting.

“The CAS voted to approve the basic framework that will lead to a new three-year contact to continue our 50-year partnership for animal shelter services,” he said.

The CAS’s rising monetary requests and lack of financial transparency are the main reasons why councilmembers and Laramie County officials intended to cancel their contract with the shelter, Collins wrote in a March 10 newsletter.

Continuing to financially support the CAS would have resulted in a $1.3 million expenditure, which the council believed was not an appropriate use of tax dollars, the letter stated.

The council planned on leasing Meals on Wheels’ empty property near South Greeley Highway to build a new city-owned shelter. The shelter would have operated on a lower budget and without the CAS’s help.

Community and CAS members advocated for negotiations to continue between the city and the shelter, expressing concerns and doubts regarding the city’s ability to run the metro shelter without the CAS.

Finance Committee members voted to recommend the lease agreement during their March 20 meeting, calling the space a “back-up plan” if contract negotiations failed.

The council was supposed to approve the lease during Tuesday’s meeting.

While Collins said the renewed contract is “good news” for the city, he feels bad that the council has to turn down the Meals on Wheels agreement.

Had the council moved forward with the five-year lease, Collins said, the nonprofit would have received $384,560 from the city.

“When you’re a nonprofit group, [that money] would have done a lot of good,” he said during the meeting. “Hopefully they will be able to find a tenant.”