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The City of San Diego pays the County $7.5 million each year to run the Department of Animal Services. In addition, residents of San Diego pay an additional $1.5 million in user fees, totaling $9 million per year. The County uses the money to protect people from animals, protect animals from people, and administering adoptions and managing shelters.

Some of the money also goes to waste, found the City Auditor's office in a recent performance audit.

"This contract can become a high risk agreement for the City given the impact it has on both public health within the City and the City’s bottom line.

"During our audit, we found that the Animal Services Agreement itself contains numerous provisions that are unfavorable to the City."

Those "unfavorable" provisions have cost the City $1.9 million in three years time. They include using $1.1 of the $9 million on unincorporated areas of the county. According to the report, the City's calls for animal services amounted to 59 percent of the department's calls from July 2007 to June 2010. However, during that time the City paid 64.8 percent of the entire department.

"The use of population as a major factor in allocating costs means the Animal Services cost paid by the City is not based on the City’s actual demand for Animal Services but rather the potential for residents to use the services," read the report.

In addition, the Animal Services Department loses an additional $750,000 by allocating funds according to estimated costs, not according to actual expenditures.

"We found numerous opportunities for operational enhancements on both the County’s side and the City’s contract management side...

"The City needs to engage in more robust contract oversight to ensure adequate performance and make strategic decisions that will improve both public health and cost recovery for the City."

The City's Audit Committee will review the audit at a July 11 hearing.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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