By Lauren DiSpirito

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Boulder is one of five cities taking part in a nationwide pilot program to limit the use of euthanasia in handling urban wildlife conflicts.

The Humane Society of the United States is launching the program called Wild Neighbors in Arlington, Virginia; Austin, Texas; San Diego, California; and Washington D.C., in addition to Boulder. The program aims to provide local animal control agencies the training, resources, and strategies needed to implement effective and humane policies for solving conflicts with wildlife.

“We’ve identified a need to help animal control agencies with humanely solving conflicts with wildlife,” Lynsey White Dasher said.

(credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

(credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

White Dasher is director of the group’s wildlife conflict resolution efforts. She says millions of animals die each year due to what she calls the unnecessary use of euthanasia, adding lethal force rarely solves the wildlife problem. When an animal is killed, where the attractant still exists, such as food, White Dasher says another one will take its place.

“So many agencies do automatically euthanize wildlife, or they refer the public to nuisance wildlife control operators who use lethal approaches,” White Dasher said.

The group chose the Boulder Police Department Animal Control Unit, led by Supervisor Janeé Boswell, as one of its five pilot communities because of the policies and programs it already employs. White Dasher says Boulder will serve as a role model for other agencies. Boswell says the partnership will help them provide more educational outreach.

“We’re excited about the partnership,” Boswell said. ‘It gives us the opportunity to make sure that we’re continuing to be progressive and that we’re partnering with an agency that is at the top of their game as far as what is being effective.”

LINK: Wild Neighbors – The Humane Society of the United States

Lauren DiSpirito is CBS4’s Northern Newsroom reporter. Follow her on Twitter @CBS4Lauren. Share your story ideas with her here.

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