Edinburg among 12 cities to renew contract with Palm Valley Animal Center

The city of Edinburg has joined 12 other Rio Grande Valley cities in renewing their contract with Palm Valley Animal Center for yearly intake of animals.

The city of Edinburg has joined 12 other Valley cities renewing their contract with Palm Valley Animal Center for yearly intake of animals.

Instead of discussing behind closed doors whether or not the city of Edinburg would continue to contract the Palm Valley Animal Center for yearly intake of animals or take on another approach, Mayor Richard Garcia decided to make a motion to renew.

"This is a business that built a beautiful large facility in our city,” Garcia said. “They employ people, pay taxes. So, it's a no-brainer for us. It's a win-win. Yes, we're having to contract them and pay them some money, but they're an asset to the city.”

Last year, the city of Edinburg paid Palm Valley Animal Center nearly $85,000 for their services. The new contract includes a flat-rate fee of $141,000 a year.

Palm Valley Animal Center's standard procedures include giving blood tests, scanning for microchips, vaccinating and holding each animal for at least three days. All of these procedures are done before the animals are sent to the Laurie P. Andrews PAWS Center in Edinburg.

Palm Valley Animal Center Director of Development Rebecca Villanueva said they can spend anywhere from $75 to $200 to care for each animal, depending on the duration of an animal's stay. However, the cost doesn't include quarantine. In 2016, Edinburg Animal Control sent over 500 animals to Palm Valley Animal Center, and less than 100 of them were quarantined.

"We were providing services to the city, but they were only paying for a fraction of the animals that were actually being admitted,” Villanueva said.

Edinburg, Alamo, San Juan, Pharr, and Palmview have jumped on board with Palm Valley Animal Center's new contract for intake. Mission is among those still reviewing it. The city of Donna, however, will not be renewing and plans to take another route that better suits their budget.

"Our mission is really education and adoption, and with the help of the cities and them helping us pay the cost of intake, we can really focus on that and reach our community a lot more,” said Villanueva.

Animal Control services and referrals from cities of La Joya, Peñitas, and Sullivan City are handled by Hidalgo County. They also re-signed with Palm Valley Animal Shelter.

Villanueva said there are currently nine cities pending contract renewal.

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