Animal control officers nervous of what future holds as city negotiates with KC Pet Project

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Damon Goldston has worked as an animal control officer with Kansas City for nearly eight years.

Now he waits to learn what's next.

"We continue to do our jobs even though the past year, especially the past few months have been really hard on us, emotionally and mentally," Goldston said.

Last week, City Council voted 9-3 to privatize animal control services. The city manager is currently negotiating terms with KC Pet Project, with plans for them to take over.

After negotiations are finished, the City Council will cast one final vote on the matter.

Animal control officers are afraid of the unknown.

"Going through the audit, going through the whole process of you’re going to lose the job that you love," Goldston said.

Melissa Robinson is one of the three council members who voted against the change. On Wednesday, she was out with Goldston, seeing how animal control operates.

"The unintended consequences of this are serious. We have to fully understand what the animal control function does," Robinson said.

The city said they'll protect workers' employment, salaries and pensions.

They'll also have a chance to apply with KC Pet Project -- but they're not guaranteed the same job role.

"In making sure that our employees are taken care of in the process. They were blindsided by this action. We want to make sure we protect city jobs," Robinson said.

Robinson said the upcoming vote is critical. She hopes everyone on the council makes an informed decision.

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