Animal shelter shuttered after controversy

May 20, 2013

Huachuca City is temporarily closing its animal shelter this week amid worries of cleanliness and disease. It looks like the animal control supervisor in the small southern Arizona town may soon be out of a job.

For now, Scott Allard is on administration leave with pay, but his termination will be recommended by Town Clerk Administrator Louie Valdez. Valdez said some shelter volunteers raised concerns that animals were not given proper medical care and were left to languish, often in unsanitary conditions.

Parvovirus, known as parvo, was not uncommon. The disease is particularly contagious and often fatal among puppies.

“There was no protocol, I should say, in place, to determine what the condition of the animals was with regard to parvo or with regard to any other medical needs that they needed to have addressed,” Valdez said.

All that should change starting early this week. The shelter will be closed at least 21 days, parvo’s incubation period, and be thoroughly cleaned. The shelter’s 14 remaining animals will be seen by a vet, treated and adopted or temporarily relocated.

Valdez said the building will be only be reopened when structural and operational improvements are made. Valdez is also advocating for more city funding for the shelter, which handles 20 to 40 animals a month.

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