Commissioners planning to close Mesa County Animal Services

The Mesa County Commissioners are quietly planning to close Mesa County Animal Services, according to an item on their public hearing agenda for Tuesday, July 2 at 9:00 a.m. (pdf). The meeting will be held at the old courthouse, 544 Rood Ave., second floor.

Word from volunteers at local animal shelters who are alarmed by the agenda item is that the Commissioners plan to close the Animal Services building in Whitewater and terminate all Animal Services employees except for four, who will move to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office. They will no longer have a care facility for animals.

Mesa County Commissioner Cody Davis (R), running for re-election this year, is among the commissioners planning to close Mesa County Animal Services

After closing Animal Services, the Commissioners then want to rebuild the agency from scratch.

The full agenda item reads:

“Consider approving the County Administrator’s ending current municipal contracts and exploring a Request For Proposal for animal shelter services, and authorize the County Administrator to sign letters to municipalities. (Matt Lewis, Justice Services Director)”

The item is under “Item(s) Needing Individual Consideration,” on page 2 of the agenda.(pdf)

Local animal shelter volunteers are asking people to attend this meeting or weigh in with the Commissioners to protest the closure, since it will put tremendous pressure on other animal shelters in the area that are already cash strapped to house and care for the area’s lost and homeless animals.

The public can attend the meeting in person or by Zoom, and can send an email to all of the commissioners at once at

Zoom Meeting Info:

Note that participants cannot comment on agenda items during the “Public Comment” portion of the agenda. That time is reserved only for items that are not on the agenda. You can comment on the agenda item at the time the it is heard and discussed by the commissioners, but public comments are limited to a maximum of three (3) minutes per speaker, unless otherwise further restricted by the Chair of the commission.

To attend and comment virtually, you’ll need to fist complete the “Public Hearing Participation Sign Up” form on the County’s website no later than 8:00 a.m. on the day of the meeting.

Zoom meeting link for the Tuesday, 7/2 meeting:

Meeting ID: 896 1946 4916

No passcode is given, so a passcode may not be necessary.

If you are attending the meeting by Zoom and want to submit a comment on the County Commissioners’ planned closure of Animal Services, you can send an email to all of the commissioners at once at

Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland (R), who lost her June 25th primary election bid to get a fourth term as commissioner


Mesa County Commissioner Bobbie Daniel (R), shown with indicted former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters



  34 comments for “Commissioners planning to close Mesa County Animal Services

  1. How did the rumor of the MCAS shutting down get started? I attended the County Commissioner’s Meeting today, July 2. The shelter is NOT closing down. The plan is to have the sheriff’s office take over enforcement issues and for the MCAS to continue to provide shelter services. The county is looking for another vendor to take over the shelter services. The county will continue to provide shelter services until a new vendor is found.

  2. I see it as normal act by conservatives—those dogs and cats are irresponsible and won’t get jobs and make their own money. Why should the taxpayers support a bunch of lazy animals who won’t take care of themselves. They probably do drugs all day and drink all night.

  3. How is this justified? I don’t know all the facts so I can’t comment directly. But I do know personally that they helped me when I needed it. They provide an invaluable service to our community. The program has been chilsed down in size continually over the years. The new building couldn’t even be built so the foundation was solid. When not 200 yards away the other county buildings didn’t seem to be having any structural problems. We have paid taxes. What a group of chicken assholes. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised since no one in this county can even take care of the Orchard Mesa Pool. It won’t matter what we say or do the decision has been. No feed back from the public. That is for sure

  4. Why not. Why don’t we privatize the entire government and see how that works out.

    Food for thought and a few of my favorite quotes . . . .

    Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power
    Benito Mussolini

    That, in its essence, is fascism–ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. Franklin D. Roosevelt

  5. Does the term ‘Retribution’ sound familiar? It should! 24/7/365 there is a person or person’s who is term limited; going down in defeat or being indicted for having friends in low places! Consequently, ‘their attitude becomes the father of their actions! i.e. POTUS & GOVS who: commute or pardon sentences; CEO’s who, when facing being ousted, will ordain lavish bonuses’ on on guess who? But will take a pound of flesh from their perceived ‘non supporters’! Welcome to the world of “Log Rolling, Back Stabbing Retribution Politics”
    On this particular stage of stages, our Thespian’s are: an opportunistic; mini-empire seeking; revenge planning; morally bankrupt individual impersonating a County Commissioner!
    Clinging to those ‘coat tails’ is the follower! Seeking to become the new king, drinks from the goblet of “False Promises and Political Narcissism”! Who, if left to his own devise’s can certainly reduce the kingdom!
    So, what to do? The matriarch is in a damming position! Hopefully the proletariat will oppose her at every junction! As for the ‘photo copy’? One hopes that the same courtesy will be presented to him as with the other cohort! The Arthurian sword can display itself in the NOVEMBER elections! Do what you feel is in the best interest of your neighborhood and your quality of living!

    • Well said. I am so afraid for our country. If we have to loose the presidency, please let us keep the house and Senate.

  6. Update: Carole Chowen with Grand Valley Pets Alive called Doug Frye, the director of Mesa County Animal Services. He said the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office will be taking over animal control services in January 2025. But the shelter is not closing and no one is losing their job.

    • OMG! this sounds nefarious.
      Carole Chowen is actually concerned about the facts and not just trying to rile people up./sarc

      Furthermore…this will all probably be “quietly” revealed at the public meeting…more skullduggery!

    • Mesa County Commissioner website, they post the hearing agenda for Tuesday mornings meeting. In the documents they include letters to the Cities of Grand Junction, Fruita, Palisade, Debeque and Collbran that they will be discontinuing providing animal services effective December 31.
      They are looking for a non-profit to run the shelter. Considering MCAS handles dangerous dogs, rabies control, quarantine animals, it’s unlikely they will find a non profit willing to handle those responsibility effectively. So yes, employees will lose their jobs and animal control in this community will suffer.

    • From Bobbie Daniels: Enforcement work will transfer to the Sheriff’s Department and the shelter will be run by a non-profit that wins a contract bid. Employees WILL lose their county jobs (“Give … employees the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience by continuing enforcement duties with MCSO or pursuing … shelter work with the contractor.”).

      The County will no longer perform animal control services for any MC municipalities who will now need to organize their own (“municipalities may work with the same contractor or a provider of their choice”).

      It seems that:
      1.MC no longer wants the responsibility of doing any county work for MC municipalities (despite the fact that municipal residents must still pay county taxes).
      2. MC anticipates a big savings in running the shelter because the nonprofits use volunteers.

      It is long past time to get rid of the current approach to electing county commissioners. Voters should be able to vote ONLY for the commissioner representing their district.

  7. My thought too: don’t we pay taxes that go for Animal Services? We found our beautiful blue-eyed aussie there just before covid arrived! It’s a very well run facility, with great people caring for all these homeless animals. Another money grab by heartless commissioners who don’t care.

    • You can thank Ms. Anna Stout for the fantastic leadership she bestowed on our community. Her heart was all in caring for lost and rejected animals.

  8. What about the taxes we pay that goes toward Mesa County Animal Services? Certainly the commissioners cannot justify closing the animal shelter when we are paying taxes for the service?!

      • Definitely follow the money. I wonder which one of the commissioners stands to benefit the most by privatization? Republican crooks as usual.

      • Why not. Let’s privatize everything and do away with government altogether.

        Food for thought and several of my favorite quotes.

        Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power
        Benito Mussolini

        That, in its essence, is fascism–ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. Franklin D. Roosevelt

      • Why not. Why don’t we privatize the entire government and see how that works out.

        A few of my favorite quotes . . . .

        Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power
        Benito Mussolini

        That, in its essence, is fascism–ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. Franklin D. Roosevelt

  9. This is terrible news. I got my dog from the shelter. She was placed there in December. She was pregnant with 10 pups. I got her on New Year’s Day. Where else would she have gone if not for the shelter?? The staff at the shelter suspected she was abandoned when the owner found out she was pregnant. The situation with abandoned, injured, abused and neglected animals in Mesa County is already very high. Without the shelter, the calls and stress put on other agencies is going to be untenable. The Commissioners must have a solid plan before disbanding County Animal Services. We must come together as a community to address this. I will be at the meeting!

  10. I worked there for 10 years. This service is necessary! Local shelters and volunteers cannot handle the volume of animals that come in. Not to mention all the other issues! If it’s the building itself than another facility needs to be found!

    • I was there for about the same 10 years, and agree with your assessment of the situation Kathy.

  11. But Janet has preached the policy of the great transparency forever!
    Yeah this cabala needs to go! Tom Acker is the best choice.

  12. Lame duck janet, burning the bridges before she goes. Need to do like most companies, when they know someone is leaving, they say good by now before they can do damage. Now cody has to go. We need to get a petition to remove them both now.

  13. Why now? Is it because their facility was in such disrepair and they’ve not been able to get satisfaction from the contractor who built it? What’s the space going to be used for if it can’t be used for animals? Why be so quiet about this move?

    Seems the county wants to shuck their responsibility of responding to the kinds of calls no other shelter can respond to – abused animals, attacking dogs, people disputes over animals.

  14. A decade ago they kicked the food bank out of a county building and said they could rent out that space. Then they didn’t rent it out for years and it still may be vacant. The commissioners engage in casual cruelties all the time. Next get rid of Cody Davis.

  15. Unless they’re donating the facility, there’s not a place in Mesa County that has the capacity to hold all the animals that are taken in. Ultimately, it’s not a bad idea but it’s necessary to know what their solution is. You can’t just shut something down without an alternative solution. So far, based on what we know, the commissioners are dipshits.

    • They may be pulling a City of Grand Junction stunt. Shut down all the parks and ban camping. Who cares about where the homeless sleep. They built a resource center that closes at 5pm. County has the same philosophy. Shut down the animal control, then someone will figure out what to do next. We used to call it: getting the cart before the horse. Need to vote several city and county officials out of office.

  16. There are choices.
    Tom Acker is running against Cody Davis.
    Voting will be important and your vote will count!

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