- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - First State Animal Center is cancelling its contracts for all three Delaware counties and the city of Wilmington after the state’s decision to hand more responsibilities to its Office of Animal Welfare.

The News Journal of Wilmington (http://delonline.us/1Mayo4X ) reports that the animal center’s board voted 14-1 on Monday to terminate all contracts, effective Sept. 15.

Executive Director Kevin Usilton says the move was necessary because he says upcoming staffing shortages would prevent the animal center from fulfilling its duties, exposing it to potential lawsuits.

Last month, state officials announced that the Office of Animal Welfare would assume numerous responsibilities, including controlling stray animals and investigating animal cruelty.

The change was expected to be gradual, but officials now say counties may have to find private providers until the animal welfare office takes over.

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Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., http://www.delawareonline.com

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