Expenses up for the Tri-City Animal Control

PASCO - KEPR learned the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter is spending way more than it takes in. It's a bleak outlook. Action News uncovered how it's planning to account for the increased costs.

That's the sound of animals who want help. Who need a home. It's why Anthony and Samantha are wanting to adopt.

"She loves animals, and I just love pit bulls," said Anthony Powell.

Fewer animals are coming into the Tri-City Animal Shelter. It's a two-sided coin.

"I just want a big dog because we have too many little dogs running around," said Powell.

Having fewer to take care of relieves crowding within the shelter. But the shelter loses money with every adoption. You pay $100 for a dog - while it cost the shelter $125 to get them ready for adoption.

"So in the end -- we're not making any money on our adoptions at all. We are losing money," said Tri-City Animal Shelter Director Angela Zilar.

Donations keep operations afloat. But the shelter is expected to finish upwards of thousands of dollars in the red. Much of that could be covered by the non-profit established for the shelter.

"Overall, the cost of everything is more expensive," added Zilar.

Director Angela Zilar isn't willing to reduce the care. She hired more people and has officers patrolling more often.

As for the 2013 budget outlook, officials tell KEPR operating expenses are not expected to increase, and say the workflow will be truly remedied once the new shelter is built.

The shelter also expects a higher demand from the public -- so it's trying to problem solve ahead of time.

"We're going have to go into negotiations on how to provide the public those services they're asking for," said Zilar.

In the meantime, it's an ongoing effort to take animals off the streets in the Tri-Cities -- and find them homes. One at a time.

One possible solution to the increased workflow is putting in a full-scale after-hours service.Officials tell KEPR they hope to have an off-duty officer to handle non-emergencies.