THE CITY OF PHOENIX CONTRACT FOR ANIMAL WELFARE SERVICES: 101
What Is It All About and How Could It Be Better?
Description: This contract is a “Professional Services Agreement” between the City of Phoenix (the City) and the Arizona Humane Society (AZHS).
Recitals/Background: The City states it does not have the appropriate facility or staff to fulfill its obligation to provide necessary services to animals held in protective custody in the course of the City’s police operations. The City has entered into this agreement to contract out to AZHS some of these services further described later in this contract.
Term/Length of Agreement: This is a 5-year contract that was approved by the City of Phoenix City Council on 6/15/2022. The contract formally started 7/1/2022 and will expire 6/30/2027.
Payment Schedule/From City to AZHS:
7/1/2022- 6/30/2023 $833,000
In addition to the annual fees above, the City pays for additional Services at the rates broken down in Exhibit B of the contract. (see contract for complete fee schedule)
Animal sheltering services for longer than 45 days costs $50 per day, per animal.
Veterinary care above $1,500 per week, determined by the Fee Schedule in Exhibit B.
More than 30 hours per month at $50 per hour for witness testimony in legal cases.
If veterinary care exceeds 40 hours per week or testimony exceeding 30 hours per month
requires separate approval by the City and if the City does not approve, then AZHS does not
have to provide services unless told to do so by a court of law.
Scope of Work:
The full scope of work is broken down in Exhibit A of the contract. (see contract for complete list)
Independent Contractor Status:
AZHS is an independent contractor and should in no way be considered part of the City.
This section also states: “The City is only interested in the results obtained under this Agreement; the manner, means and mode of completing the same are under the sole control of AHS [AZHS]”.
This means the City is not going to provide oversight, give direction, or audit how the AZHS
competes its services under this agreement. This passes the buck a little too far and allows AZHS
to single-handedly decide how to handle every situation it encounters. Are they representing
the City in their services or are they representing their own non-profit? It is hard to tell where
one ends and the other begins. This section of the agreement could use some firmer language to
hold AZHS accountable to certain standards.
Confidentiality and Data Security:
All of the data collected by AZHS in connection with the services it is required to perform under the contract belongs to the City. The data cannot be shared without the prior written approval of the City Manager (Jeff Barton) or his/her designee.
One of the pillars of “P.A.W.S.- A Citizens’ Initiative” is for AZHS to share data regarding animal
abuse and neglect cases it gets with Maricopa County Animal Care and Control and the City Of
Phoenix Neighborhood Services so these groups may follow-up on Licensing Enforcement to
deter behaviors prohibited by city ordinances. Based on this contract, the City Manager will
need to approve this. This a point we need to bring to our City Council Members attention. The
simple act of enforcing animal licensing will assist with detecting and deterring animal abuse,
neglect, and backyard breeding.
This agreement allows the City to audit all records related to the performance of services under the agreement.
One of the pillars of “P.A.W.S.- A Citizens’ Initiative” is increase transparency of the numbers
reported to the public regarding animal abuse and neglect cases. This a point we need to bring
to our City Council Members attention. Has an audit ever occurred during any term of this
contract past or present? What were the results of the audit? Rather than the open-ended
language that the “City reserves the right, at reasonable times, to audit…”, a set audit schedule
should be set and maintained as a matter of accountability to citizens of the City of Phoenix.
AZHS cannot contract out or assign any of its obligations under this agreement.
The contract states: “An essential consideration provided to the City by AHS [AZHS] to induce the City to enter into the Agreement is AHS’s representation that it is Arizona’s largest animal welfare and protection agency, with designated first responders for animals in distress, abuse, neglect, and abandonment. Accordingly, the City has determined that AHS has the unique ability to safeguard,
rescue, shelter, heal, or adopt in the expectedly high volume of animal cases the City responds to, investigates, and prosecutes in any given year.”
What this says: AZHS told the City it is the largest organization in AZ capable of providing these
services so the City believes AZHS has a UNIQUE ability to provide such services.
Qualifications- AZHS states it is fully experienced and properly qualified, is in compliance with all applicable license requirements, and is equipped, organized, and financed to perform the services in the contract.
Level of Care and Skill- Services provided by AZHS will be performed in a manner consistent with that level of care and skill ordinarily exercised by members of the same profession currently practicing in the same industry under similar conditions.
How has it been determined that AZHS is complying with this requirement? How is the benchmark for what is acceptable determined for the purposes contract compliance? This a point we need to bring to our City Council Members attention.
Note: Review the actual contract in its entirely. This summary is only intended to point out a subset of terms pertinent to our cause. The contract contains a variety of other common contract clauses that are consistent with similar contracts of its kind.
Note: Review the actual contract in its entirely. This summary is only intended to point out a subset of
terms pertinent to our cause. The contract contains a variety of other common contract clauses that are
consistent with similar contracts of its kind.