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Animal Shelter Blog: We Saved Our Shelter!

Another in a series of updates from the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter on their efforts to keep the shelter open.

An agreement announced Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 25, between the City of Alameda and a steering committee representing Friends of Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS) and the Humane Society of Alameda (HSA) will keep the Alameda Animal Shelter open by allowing FAAS to run it as a nonprofit.

The city agreed to lease the shelter facility to FAAS for at $1 per year for 15 years and provide half the shelter’s annual operating costs.  

 “I am gratified that the two organizations have stepped up to the challenge and are partnering with the City to preserve an important service in Alameda,” said Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore.

Alameda City Manager John Russo said the agreement was “exactly the kind of public-private partnership model local government needs in the coming years.”

 “It’s a classic win-win agreement,” said Thomas Cushing, chair of the Steering Committee for FAAS and HSA. “The City of Alameda saves money and the citizens of Alameda keep their shelter in the community with all its services intact. It’s also a win for Alameda’s animals who will continue to receive the care and compassion they need and deserve.”

 “We appreciate the trust the city has placed in us by contracting with us to manage shelter operations in a public-private partnership,” said FAAS President Nancy Bianchi. “We have big shoes to fill, since the shelter has been operated so effectively under the direction of the Alameda Police Department and the current staff. We’re confident that we can maintain that level of operational excellence. This is great for the city, the citizens and the animals.”  HSA President Carmen Lasar added, "Our animals staying in Alameda has been our primary focus. They will continue to receive the best care possible.”

 The highlights of the agreement are:

  • The City will pay FAAS $300,000 per year for shelter operations (plus a consumer price index escalator after the first year) every year for 15 years.  At the end of 15 years, the lease can be extended for two periods of five years each subject to mutual approval.
  • The City will continue to employ two part-time Animal Control Officers at $80,000 per year.
  • FAAS will pay $1 in rent annually.
  • The City will maintain responsibility for the shelter’s roof, foundation, HVAC and electrical systems ; FAAS will be responsible for general maintenance and janitorial services.
  • December will be a transition month and FAAS will take over the operations on January 1.
  • FAAS will provide all of the general shelter services: licensing of companion animals, holding of strays and owner-surrendered animals, provision of after-hours drop-off boxes, etc.
  • FAAS will keep licensing revenues for the shelter.


Thursday’s gala at Rock Will Wine Company will be a major celebration as well as a fundraiser. Make your reservations now at www.faas.bbnow.org.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Monty J Heying October 26, 2011 at 05:50 PM
Thanks, guys, for saving our shelter. Your example of grace and goodness radiates throughout our town.
Michael Budd October 27, 2011 at 02:08 PM
The one question that keeps coming to mind is, how will the FAAS raise the balance of the money needed to run the shelter each of the next 15 years. Certainly it will cost a great deal more than the $300,000 that the city is going to kick in. Does anyone know how these funds will be raised? Michael Budd Alameda, CA
Monty J Heying October 27, 2011 at 06:57 PM
ON CHRISTMAS EVE In the cold and misty dusk, The animal shelter’s fence Cannot contain the canine wail That halts a passerby. Neighborhood Christmas lights Blink a watchful rhythm as He peers through a slit At the now empty cage. He dwells upon the captive’s fate, And the meaning of that howl Lights on his shoulder Like a night bird’s feet. # # # (I wrote this last Christmas.)


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