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Washoe County Animal Services to be Independent Department

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The Washoe County Sheriff's Office has managed the Regional Animal Services for a few years, but soon that will all change. Animal services will become its own stand-alone department.

The animal services director says the department will better serve the public on its own when they take over the next fiscal year. "I'm ready to run this agency and move it forward, give it its own identity, increase our level of service to the community and the welfare of animals in Washoe County," says Barry Brode.

He says the services they offer right now will not be affected and that they're in the process of working on doing more for pets and their owners, things like outreach at the dog parks or doing school patrols.

This was all approved unanimously by the county commission Tuesday night.

The sheriff's office has managed animal services since January of 2012. And when it starts animal services will report to the county manager's office instead.

The assistant county manager says after looking into funding for the different departments, they felt animal services could stand on its own.
"We have a good fund balance and a good fund base to do that. I think the opportunity is here now because with the budget and with the service needs, we really are at an opportunistic time to move it forward," says Kevin Schiller.

Commissioners also looked at possibly creating a new animal advisory board. It would be made up of different community members. And that could be talked about at future board meetings.

Written by Adam Varahachaikol
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