KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- A big change is taking place in the way Kansas City, Missouri, handles stray animals.

The city council has voted to move forward with a plan to turn animal control operations over to the KC Pet Project.

Councilwoman Teresa Loar said in a meeting on Thursday that this is something she’s been working on for nearly four years.

The call for change in leadership came two years after an audit found issues with the animal control division. 

It was not an easy vote and tensions ran hot inside city hall.

“It is a big day,” said Tori Fugate with KC Pet Project.

It was a big day for lots of little animals.

The contract KC Pet Project won will allow them to take over animal control services for all of KC, including animal control officers.

“If they don’t want to join the team at KC Pet Project, they would have positions available to them in the city still,” said Fugate.

However, the city council meeting heated up when concern for those jobs came up.

Third District Councilor Melissa Robinson was the only no vote in earlier committee discussions.

“This is wrong,” she said. “African-Americans represent 47.6 percent of the employees who will be impacted by this privatization proposal.”

On Thursday, Robinson was still holding out for something different.

“Frankly, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing that this proposal does not allow access to proposals,” she said.

Despite “no” votes from Robinson and fellow Third District Councilman Brandon Ellington, the resolution passed.

Fugate said animal control employees can apply for the new positions that will come up when Pet Project takes over. They hope to have the services transitioned by the end of the year, but it has to go through negotiations first.

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