Vinton to Vote on Agreement to Join in Purchase of Pound From Roanoke Valley SPCA

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UPDATE - Tuesday 10:40 p.m.

Tuesday night, Vinton town leaders voted unanimously to enter into a lease with Roanoke City, Roanoke County, and Botetourt County.

Each community will pay for its share of animals housed at the SPCA.

Vinton will pay about 4 percent.

Both Botetourt and Roanoke Counties are expected to agree to the terms next week.

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The Vinton Town Council will vote on an agreement that would allow the town to join forces with three other local governments to buy the pound from the Roanoke Valley SPCA.

Leaders say it's an important step as they get set to take over pound operations.

For the last 10 years or so, the Roanoke Valley SPCA has been in charge of both their own shelter and the neighboring pound.

That's set to change, though, on July 1, when Vinton, Roanoke City, Roanoke County, and Botetourt County officially take over operations at the pound.

And that's why all four of them are in the process of purchasing the actual facility.

This split all goes back to concerns they had about the management of the pound, its live release rates, and the medical care it provided to the animals there.

They and the SPCA ultimately felt making the pound and the shelter two separate entities would allow each of them to better serve their missions: adoptions at the SPCA and public safety and animal protection at the pound.

Back in April,the four localities hired David Flagler as the new executive director of the pound.

They say since then, he's been doing a lot of prep work ahead of the transition, getting to know the facility, trying to build relationships with local agencies and shelters, and wrapping his head around budgets.

After July 1, they say his focus will be improving the volunteer base at the pound, improving the vet care there, and increasing live release rates.

"Our communities find animals to be very important to their lives and to their families and when our citizens have those expected levels of service then we as a government are expected to provide them," said Chris Lawrence, Vinton town manager.

The pound purchase and transfer will cost about $2 million, which will be shared by all four local governments.

Roanoke City has already approved the purchase agreement. Botetourt and Roanoke counties are slated to take up this issue during their meetings later this month.

Tonight's meeting in Vinton will take place at 6:30 at the Masonic Lodge on East Washington.


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