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Investigation launched into Pueblo Animal Shelter

PUEBLO – Officials in Pueblo County confirm an investigation is underway into Community Animal Services of Pueblo. The Pueblo Police Department was on site today to assist in the execution of a search warrant at the facility.

Pueblo County Commissioners say their main concern is the health and welfare of animals currently under the shelter’s control. The Colorado Department of Agriculture is conducting the investigation.

Shelters have to be licensed through the Pet Animal Care Facilities Act, or PACFA, to stay open. Hollis Glenn, director of that division, tells News5 the new shelter has been through several routine inspections since taking over on January 1, 2019, and that this active investigation is a “top priority” for PACFA investigators. There’s no word on what prompted Friday’s action, or if the shelter’s license is at risk of being revoked.

The shelter remains open, and Pueblo County Commissioners say they will continue to cooperate with state and local officials on the issue but cannot comment on the ongoing investigation.

PAWS for Life just took over management of the city’s animal shelter in early January after approval from the city council and county board of commissioners. The group’s board says they are working with investigators.

There is an active investigation. We have just been notified and are having an emergency board meeting to address it. We take the well-being of our animals very seriously and will fully comply with the investigation and are actively working on correcting concerns. – Ruth McDonald, PAWS for Life Board President

As part of the Pueblo Animal Ordinance, the new management must maintain a 90 percent live release rate while under contract with the city. Despite concerns about a detailed plan on how to operate the shelter, Pueblo County commissioners unanimously approved of the management change.

The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region ran the shelter for 16 years but came under fire in the community as many wanted it to become a no-kill shelter.

RELATED:

Pueblo’s new animal control shelter staying busy (Jan 4, 2019)

PAWS for Life begins transition to operate city-county shelter, enforcement (Dec 7, 2018)

Pueblo County Commissioners vote 3-0 in favor of PAWS contract for animal shelter (Dec 6, 2018)

PAWS For Life to take over Pueblo’s animal shelter, city council approves (Dec 3, 2018)

Melissa Greathouse

Melissa Greathouse

Melissa is a digital content producer and television producer for News5.
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