Latest info on talks between Great Falls Animal Shelter and Macl - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Latest info on talks between Great Falls Animal Shelter and Maclean Animal Adoption Center

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Great Falls City Manager Greg Doyon Great Falls City Manager Greg Doyon
Maclean Animal Adoption Center Board of Trustees President Roxanne Klose Maclean Animal Adoption Center Board of Trustees President Roxanne Klose

For the past seven years, the City of Great Falls and the Maclean Animal Adoption Center have engaged in occasional talks to merge the Maclean with the city Animal Shelter.

The Maclean made another pitch at the end of 2016.

The Maclean Animal Adoption Center opened in August 2015 after years of fundraising and construction. A year and a half later, Maclean's Board of Trustees say they could save taxpayers money if the city closes it's animal shelter and pays the Maclean $150,000 a year to provide animal adoption services.

"If the city shelter has a budget of $600,000 in one year, and we're able to maintain our operations between that $12,000 and $15,000 a month, we can use our philanthropic dollars to enhance the surroundings we have here at the Maclean," said Board of Trustees President Roxanne Klose.

The Maclean is still raising money to pay off it's $1.7 million dollar mortgage. Once that's accomplished, the Center hopes the city will be more open to a partnership.

But Great Falls City Manager Greg Doyon says debt isn't the biggest roadblock.

"They want to do right by the animal population in the city, and the community, and the region, and we understand that. But they have talked about before that they are not experts either at running facilities and they were looking to the city for that expertise. It remains to be seen, as they get their feet wet with running a full-fledged operational facility, whether or not they'll be able to meet the current level that the city provides," said Doyon.

In addition, Doyon and some city Animal Shelter employees are concerned about whether the Maclean has enough space.

"Do they potentially have the capacity? Maybe. But you never know what's going to happen in the community in terms of animal welfare. So if you have somebody that's a hoarder and they have a puppy mill and they are in violation and they are seized, that could flood your facility in a heart beat, therefor you would need to work with another shelter," said Doyon.

But Klose says the Maclean is a flexible facility and they would make room for animals that come through the door.

At this point, any sort of partnership seems far off. But, both Doyon and Klose say they want to keep the conversation going.

"They just started off so they have a little bit of learning, and growing, and shaping to do. And maybe down the road, once there is a demonstrated ability and capacity, we could take a look at it," said Doyon.

"We want to show them that we're very interested in being a partner, or collaborate with them, or talk with them in any way possible to assure that the animals are where they need to be," said Klose.

The Maclean says it does not want to take over animal control service. That should remain with the Great Falls Police Department.

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