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Chilliwack will take in Abbotsford dogs

Abbotsford has solved its dog pound dilemma – temporarily.

Chilliwack has agreed to board dogs, normally housed at Mainland Municipal Animal Control Services in Aldergrove, until a permanent solution can be found. The Aldergrove facility ended its business relationship with Abbotsford in January.

The Chilliwack pound, located on Wolfe Road, has the required capacity to house both cities' dogs. It will accept the animals, for a maximum of 12 months, and will charge a flat rate of $4,000 per month.

While full details of the agreement won't be discussed publicly until Monday's Abbotsford council meeting, city manager Frank Pizzuto said the cost will be equal, or even less, than what the city has paid in the past.

"The agreement is for six months, with the option of extending it to 12," said Pizzuto.

He said the $4,000 was just for the use of the facility and Canadian Corps Commissionaires will likely be hired to fulfill other aspects of animal control for the city. That includes handling public calls, transporting animals to Chilliwack and dog rescue services. In the past, the Aldergrove company performed all of those duties, as part of its private contract.

In 2010, the city's budget for animal control was $426,000.

Mayor George Peary said the deal is a good one for the city and solves an immediate problem. However, a long-term solution has to be found.

"Eventually we will have our own free-standing facility," said Peary.

A lack of resources has delayed moving forward on a new shelter, but Peary said it will have to be looked at, sooner than later.

A regional animal control centre, run by the Fraser Valley Regional District, has also been discussed, and could eventually, permanently combine Abbotsford, Chilliwack and other communities.

However, the city is looking at leaving the FVRD, which may complicate such a facility.

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