Corp Comm Connects

Richmond Hill reverses decision and awards animal services contract to OSPCA
Rescinds previous contract to wildlife service company
March 14, 2016
Kim Zarzour

A controversial decision to award wildlife shelter and rehabilitation services to a relatively new Alliston-based business has been reversed and the Town of Richmond Hill has resumed its partnership with the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA).

The OSPCA will provide dedicated animal control officers to respond to calls relating to wildlife, including sick, injured or orphaned animals.

The OSPCA also provides domestic animal services for Richmond Hill, including an animal shelter and adoption centre, although a decision last year by council had awarded the $105,600 contract for wildlife services to K9Pest Management.

Several delegations expressed concern about the decision, however, arguing that K9 was not as experienced and the contract should have been awarded to Toronto Wildlife Centre instead.

The town’s CAO Neil Garbe said the recommendation to contract with K9 followed established principles and process for public procurement through a service-based evaluation that gave the business top score.

But a staff report presented to council last December recommended the contract with K9 be rescinded.

K9 had apparently misunderstood the contract terms and assumed they would not have to transport the wildlife — something the town made clear was required and expected, according to John DeVries, director of regulatory services.

As a result, staff recommended the town award the contract to the next highest ranked proponent, Toronto Wildlife Centre. 

The Toronto Wildlife Centre was not able to agree to the contract terms, either, leading to a staff recommendation, ratified on consent at last Monday’s council meeting, to award the contract — for the same price as the original compliant bid — to the OSPCA.

The society had provided the services to the town in previous years. 

Devries said the roundabout route back to the previous service provider is just part of the democratic process.

“There is merit in going through the process,” he said. “It gave an opportunity for people to participate and gave the municipality an opportunity to have a discussion to get the best services we can.”

Residents should call the wildlife hotline at 310-SPCA (7722) to report wildlife issues or domestic animal cruelty.

If you have questions or concerns about wildlife in your neigbourhood or on your property, contact the Town’s Natural Environment Section at