Sacramento County Residents: Animals Need Your Urgent Help!Posted by Stephen Wells, ALDF's Executive Director on June 7, 2010
The County of Sacramento is in a terrible financial crisis and its leaders face tough choices…
Despite a $22 million public investment in a new state-of-the-art animal shelter, the County’s animals are now at great risk. Two years of County budget cuts have meant a 40-percent reduction in animal care staff and limited public hours for reuniting lost pets with their families and adopting out homeless animals.
These cuts have cost animals their lives. Already, three out of five animals entering the County shelter don’t leave alive. In a single day last week, 60 animals were put to sleep at the shelter.
And it could get worse. Just last month we got word that Sacramento County supervisors are contemplating yet another significant reduction to the animal shelter. Here’s what reductions would mean:
- Animals in distress or suffering from cruelty, neglect, or injury may not get timely or adequate protection from the only agency in the County that conducts humane investigations. Animals will likely suffer longer because there will be too few officers to keep up with incoming calls.
- Dogs and cats who arrive at the shelter – most often through no fault of their own – may have only 72 hours before they are put to sleep.
- The public will be at increased risk from dangers caused by slower response times to calls about animals in the road, dog bites, and dead animal removal.
- Many shelter animals will not receive the basic veterinary care that could make the difference between life and death. A simple, treatable skin condition could be a death sentence.
- The County’s staffing ratio would fall far below recommended minimum animal care standards, increasing the risk of disease outbreaks, unsanitary living conditions, and poor animal welfare.
- Current investments in efforts to prevent the births of unwanted animals will also be reduced.
Sacramento County’s animals will suffer more and die in higher numbers if further cuts are made to the animal shelter.
If you want to stop this from happening, if you have ever adopted an animal, if you believe that we owe homeless pets a bare minimum of welfare and opportunity… then it is not too late for you to act!
Here are three simple ways Sacramento County residents can help:
- Attend the budget hearing and pre-hearing rally on Monday, June 14. The rally starts at 1 p.m. on the south steps of 700 H Street in downtown Sacramento. Please visit http://tinyurl.com/NoCutsRally for details. A large crowd is needed to demonstrate the community’s commitment to animal care.
- Prior to June 14, write a firm but polite letter (or email) and send it to the County contacts listed below. Some suggested talking points are available below. Please include your own perspective and your address.
- Share this information with your friends and neighbors in Sacramento County. Send an email, share on Facebook, make a phone call and spread the word!
- Any further cuts will be detrimental to the community and the animals. The agency is so hampered already that any cuts to this agency means essential services will not be able to be provided.
- Sacramento County’s animal shelter plays an important role in ensuring public safety, public health, and animal welfare.
- The shelter, volunteers and the community are working toward making the shelter more self-sustaining in the future, but General Fund support is critical this year.
- The shelter has taken more than 40 percent in cuts already, resulting in more than 20 fewer staff positions, offering far less community services, and suffering poorer outcomes as a consequence.
- The County’s commitment to animal welfare was signaled by the opening of the new, wonderful animal welfare center, and it would be a shame if its operations were not fully supported.
- Each year about 14,000 animals rely on the shelter to save them from abandonment and suffering.
Sacramento County Contacts
Fax Number: 916-874-7593
Mailing Address: 700 H Street, Suite 2450, Sacramento, CA 95814
District 1 Supervisor Roger Dickinson
District 2 Supervisor Jimmie Yee
District 3 Supervisor Susan Peters
District 4 Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan
District 5 Supervisor Don Nottoli
County Executive Steve Szalay
Municipal Services Agency Director Paul Hahn
Interim Shelter Director Carl Simpson