After a decade, Berkeley celebrates a new animal shelter

The animal shelter's grand opening celebration takes place at 1 Bolivar Drive on Saturday. Scroll to the bottom of the story for details. Photo: Emilie Raguso

The animal shelter’s grand opening celebration takes place at 1 Bolivar Drive on Saturday from noon to 2:30 p.m. Scroll to the bottom of the story for additional details. Photo: Emilie Raguso

More than 10 years after Berkeley voters approved a $7.2 million bond to build a new home to care for abandoned and sick animals, the Dona Spring Municipal Animal Shelter will hold its grand opening Saturday — costing $5 million more than the original budget and in a smaller space than city officials originally envisioned.

The shelter, which is projected to cost nearly $12.4 million when all is said and done, opened in November after more than a decade in development, as an appropriate site proved elusive, and the venue that ultimately was selected posed a range of challenges during design and construction.

The new shelter features a $272,000 medical suite to handle lab work and on-­site spay and neuter procedures, as well as everything from teeth cleaning and laceration repairs to eye and limb removal. There are habitat rooms where cats can socialize with a view of Aquatic Park; fenced­ animal play areas; and indoor­-outdoor kennels. It’s decked out in Crate and Barrel furniture — the company donated $24,000 worth thanks to volunteer efforts — and includes a volunteer lounge, community training room, public restrooms, laundry room and kitchens with sanitizing dishwashers.

The shelter is named for former Councilwoman Dona Spring, who fought for changes in the city’s approach to animal services, worked to improve spay and neuter laws and resources, and “demanded that Berkeley’s adoptable animals not be euthanized.” Spring died in 2008 after battling rheumatoid arthritis for decades.

The new two-story building is about 11,700 square feet — compared to 10,000 square feet at the old shelter — and has fewer kennels: 43 square-shaped kennels, as compared to the old shelter’s 60 rectangular ones.

The building replaced an aging and dilapidated shelter, at 2013 Second St., that was built in 1940. The old space was “in poor condition, seismically unsafe, suboptimal for the maintaining healthy animals, and not conducive for promoting animal adoptions or attracting members of the public to visit,” according to a 2008 city staff report about the purchase of the new site.

The triangular shape of the lot on Bolivar Drive near Aquatic Park, along with several problematic geographical features, presented challenges to designers and architects. But the Bolivar site garnered “widespread agreement” due to its proximity to Aquatic Park, as well as its distance from residences (where neighbors might be disturbed by noise and site activities). In 2010, the City Council voted to allocate an additional $5.5 million to the project, in part to compensate for increased construction costs and also to cover the price of the new lot, which sold for more than the city originally had planned to spend.

Kate O'Connor, who runs Berkeley Animal Control Services, says the quiet atmosphere, airy and light spaces and new lab facilites are among the highlights at the new site. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Kate O’Connor, who runs Berkeley Animal Care Services, says the quiet atmosphere, airy and light spaces and new lab facilites are among the many highlights at the new site. She is pictured here with Oscar, a shepherd mix, who later was adopted. Photo: Emilie Raguso

The new shelter also has environmental features such as a green roof to make the building more energy efficient and solar hot water heating to reduce energy costs. The building was constructed to meet LEED Silver standards. To prevent flooding, which city staff described as a “chronic problem at the old site,” the shelter was built three feet above grade.

In addition to saving the city money, said Kate O’Connor, Berkeley Animal Care Services manager, having a lab in-house cuts down on stress animals used to experience during transport for medical care. It also frees up animal control officers for other duties. (The lab was funded in part by a grant from Maddie’s Fund.)

O’Connor also pointed to an advanced air filtration system to keep to a minimum the spread of illnesses, such as kennel cough and upper respiratory infections, and improve overall air quality; a much cleaner, quieter environment due to soundproof kennels and high-end building materials, such as Corian; and improved “flow” throughout the building for volunteers and visitors alike.

None of this was possible in the old space, said O’Connor, who has worked for the city for more than 12 years.

And though there are fewer kennels in the new space, O’Connor said, the shelter has a similar holding capacity, as well as greater flexibility due to kennel layout and design, and the potential for connections between the spaces. Some of the new kennels are also double- or triple-sized, she added.

Jim Hynes, assistant to Berkeley’s city manager, described the atmosphere in the new facility as “all very mellow.” The old space was “a cacophony,” he said. “The whole environment was loud. Now it’s peaceful.”

A view down an aisle through the chain-link kennels at the old animal shelter on moving day in November 2012. See more photographs from the move. Photo: Nancy Rubin

A view down an aisle through the chain-link kennels at the old animal shelter on moving day in November 2012. See more photographs from the move. Photo: Nancy Rubin

Old shelter was “outdated, overcrowded, unsafe”

In 2002, Berkeley residents approved by a 68% majority Measure I, a $7.2 million bond measure, to fund the construction of a new animal shelter. Conditions at the old shelter were described as “outdated, overcrowded and unsafe.”

Emily King Colwell, who volunteered at the old shelter and for a time ran its outreach program as a city employee, said the old shelter was cramped and noisy for animals and people. It was a concrete cinderblock construction with chain-link kennels and no airflow.

“Cats were facing other cats, dogs were facing each other. It was stressful. They were staring at each other all the time,” said Colwell, who has shifted back into a volunteer role at the new facility. ”It was not a shelter designed for a progressive model. It was a shelter designed for dog catchers and rabies control. Those were its only functions when it was built.”

The new space, on the other hand, “lets people use the services without feeling like they’re coming to a prison barracks,” she said.

A 2002 campaign flier to encourage Berkeley residents to support a bond measure for a new animal shelter. Source: Berkeley Animal Welfare Fund

A 2002 campaign flier to ask Berkeley residents to support a bond measure for a new animal shelter. Source: Berkeley Animal Welfare Fund

According to a history of the shelter compiled by the Berkeley Animal Welfare Fund, as of 1988, the shelter was euthanizing 75% of its cats and dogs. In 1996, Dona Spring called for a new shelter with better conditions. In 1998, Paws for Thought — founded by Jill Posener — mounted a media campaign to raise awareness about shelter conditions; 65% of animals were still being euthanized.

A mayoral task force was created in 1999 to examine conditions, and in 2000 the group called for “profound policy changes” at the shelter, according to the Welfare Fund, “including removing the Shelter from under the control of the Police Department, the creation of a volunteer program, employment of a volunteer coordinator and city support for a local animal rescue group Home At Last.” Animal activists called for a new city philosophy, demanding that “no animal is killed for space and that every animal be assessed thoroughly for medical and behaviour rehabilitation before euthanasia is considered as an option.”

Measure I passed in 2002, and the city created a joint Humane Commission and council subcommittee to search for a site, which led to “six frustrating years” of exploration and discussion.

As the city described it in 2008, “Various sites were identified and their feasibility explored but for various reasons such as cost, size and location, the Council subcommittee… rejected all sites.” The city noted five west Berkeley sites that had been considered, and outlined what it would take to build a new facility at the old Second Street site, including raising the foundation several feet, and spending $500,000 to house the animals during demolition and construction.

Then-City Manager Phil Kamlarz asked for approval at that time for construction of a new shelter up to 16,000 sq ft, noting that its size could change depending on a range of variables.

In 2008, the group chose the Aquatic Park site on Bolivar Drive. (Had council members not approved the Bolivar location, the city was seemingly out of options. Staff wrote that there was “a very high likelihood” the shelter would have had to remain, albeit rebuilt, at its Second Street location.)

By then, “After 8 years of civilian control under the City Managers office and the direct supervision of Kate O’Connor, and with greater involvement of the community, the facility became “the municipal shelter with the lowest euthanasia rate in California — under 15%.”

As of November, that number was down to 10%, said shelter director O’Connor. And unadopted animals can remain at the shelter as long as it suits them.

“As long as they’re coping, they’re good,” she said.

An aerial view of what the animal shelter used to look like. Image source: Google Maps

An aerial view of what the animal shelter site used to look like. The site used to house a building that had served as a mental health center and a catering kitchen over the years. The building started out in 1961 as a private club for the Berkeley Firefighter’s Association and was used as a gathering place for its members and by other groups for events. “City records indicate that over the years a brewpub, nightclub and private school have also occupied the building,” according to a 2008 city staff report. Image source: Google Maps

Site causes construction complications

Construction began in August 2010 and was completed, after multiple delays, in late October 2012. Parking requirements and budgetary constraints largely dictated the capacity of the final building, including the decision not to include a third story in the design, said city staffer Nicole Kelly, assistant to the deputy city manager, via email.

Design and construction weren’t without their challenges. Due to the shape of the site, design “did take some architectural brilliance to pull off,” said manager O’Connor. (Burks Toma Architects designed the shelter. The project’s Zoning Adjustments Board history is available here.)

To strengthen the structure in light of liquefaction and seismic concerns at the site, workers installed hundreds of “geo piers” deep into the ground. The piers “are compacted rock columns that are placed in the ground through a process based on high frequency vibration.”

The presence of an existing 66-inch-diameter East Bay MUD sanitary interceptor pipeline, within a 25-foot easement, added to the complications, and required vibration monitoring throughout construction to ensure vibrations didn’t exceed reverberation levels.

“As a result of the vibration tests, the piers had to be re-designed and the method of installation changed,” said Kelly. “The City was also required to conduct an internal inspection of the line before, during and after placement of the geo piers. The overall cost increase was about $170,000,” from an estimated $228,000 to around $400,000.

The site is also located within a federally designated flood zone; a 25-foot-wide floodway easement runs along the east side of the lot, according to a 2009 city staff report. As a result, the building had to be constructed outside the floodway and at an elevation at least 1.5 feet above grade.

According to a project overview from October 2012, the revised project budget is estimated to run about $12.4 million, most of which has been spent.

In addition to the original $7.2 million bond measure, in 2010 city officials approved $5.5 million in additional financing due to increased costs. The city needed the extra money, in part, because site selection took so long, which led to increased construction costs; and there was a higher-than-expected price to buy the new site, according to a city staff report.

The city's October report about the animal shelter project estimated the budget at nearly $12.4 million.

The city’s October report about the animal shelter project estimated the budget at nearly $12.4 million.

The city originally said debt service payments would average about $350,000 per year for 30 years. In December, Kelly said the financing was for $5 million on a 30-year note “at 4.5%, which comes out to a debt service of about $400,000 per year.”

Selling the old property, for an estimated $800,000 to $1.3 million, is expected to assist in repayment.

(See full documentation about the additional financing here, along with a 2010 budget worksheet with a line-by-line financial breakdown. A more recent breakdown has not been available from the city.)

Activists rue absence of public animal care clinic

Two of the commissioners who helped with site selection and shelter planning said they’re satisfied that the city has completed the project. But both said they had hoped to see a public animal care clinic as part of the final design.

“It was a long and sometimes difficult process, but the fact that it’s new is fantastic,” said Anne Wagley of the Berkeley Animal Care Commission. “It’s going to make life so much easier for the animals. But I think, in terms of the community, we really need a low-cost clinic that’s open to our low-income residents.”

Without this kind of clinic, she continued, “we’re not solving the root of the problem,” as animals will continue to be abandoned when owners can’t afford care.

The original ballot language in support of Measure I stated that bond advocates wanted to include “a vet clinic to provide low income residents, seniors and the disabled affordable medical care for their animals.” The statement was signed by county Supervisor Keith Carson, then-Mayor Shirley Dean and current Mayor Tom Bates, among others. But the bond language itself never included plans for a clinic, said city staff.

Shelter manager O’Connor said the new facility can’t afford to provide these services in its lab, but that care is available through the Berkeley Humane Society and the East Bay SPCA. Those agencies, she added, receive “a lot of donor money” to provide such services, money the Berkeley shelter doesn’t get.

“In an ideal world, I would love it,” O’Connor said, adding that the public clinic had always been a resource the activists wanted, rather than part of the written plan. “Money doesn’t come to us for that sort of thing.”

O’Connor also pointed to the spay/neuter clinic in Martinez, and local organization Paw Fund, which is run by local photographer Jill Posener, as other useful resources.

Posener, a former Animal Care commissioner, said she too saw the lack of a clinic as “a missed opportunity to do something amazingly progressive for this region and its community of pet owners. That’s what we promised in the ballot language, and what we thought we were going to get.”

Still, she said, she was proud to have helped develop the project over the years.

In a 2009 column for the Berkeley Daily Planet, Posener noted concerns about the decrease in the number of kennels at the new shelter; the failure to include a public animal care clinic; and the various spatial and seismic problems with the Bolivar Drive site.

In the column, she also pointed out potential traffic hazards on the busy site as “inevitable” and, while lauding its proximity to Aquatic Park as an exercise area, went on to write that “there is just one small triangular shaped dog run attached to the new building. The partially open air kennels back on to the freeway so that the noise, smell and debris from the freeway will intrude all the time.”

A shelter staffer giving a kiss to one of the dogs. Photo: Nancy Rubin

A shelter staffer giving a kiss to one of the dogs. Photo: Nancy Rubin

Others familiar with the shelter said they see it as a place where the city’s animal services will continue to grow. Eleni Sotos is the president of the Friends of Berkeley Animal Services, an all-volunteer organization formed in 2011 to help continue to raise money for shelter needs that weren’t covered by the bond, such as furnishings, and medical equipment for the lab.

Sotos said the cat habitat rooms and pods, and the general stress-free atmosphere, are among the most dramatic changes in the new shelter. She also spoke positively about the new volunteer and community rooms, which she said will help build connections among the people who work in and donate their time to the shelter, and which were sorely lacking in the old space.

“It would have been fantastic to have a larger footprint of a shelter, but you have to work with the space you have,” she said. “It’s cleaner, healthier and calmer for the animals, and a better experience for users, too. We just hope people aren’t shy about coming and visiting. They don’t have to be looking for an animal. It’s partly their shelter; it was funded by the community. We’re there to serve the city.”

Dona Spring, via the city of Berkeley. (Click the image to learn more.)

Dona Spring, via the city of Berkeley. (Click the image to learn more.)

Dona Spring’s partner and caretaker of more than 27 years, Dennis Walton, said Spring didn’t know the shelter would be named for her. He described Spring as incredibly diligent and conscientious, as well as self-effacing and humble.

“In a way, Dona might feel she wasn’t even the most deserving (of the name). It’s a testimony of her work not just on animal issues, but for everything she did on the council,” he said Wednesday night. “I’m pleased that it’s named after her and in her honor. And I’m sure that she finds some satisfaction in it.”

Walton said, so far, he’s only seen the shelter from the outside. He has been asked to speak in Spring’s honor Saturday at the grand opening celebration, and said he plans to read a poem he wrote.

“I’m sure Dona’s pleased,” he said, about the new facility. “I’m sure she’ll be overseeing it in spirit.”

Grand opening details

The grand opening is scheduled to take place Saturday, Feb. 2, from noon to 2:30 p.m. at 1 Bolivar Drive at the Dona Spring Municipal Animal Shelter. Tours and refreshments will be provided, and adoption services will be up and running even during the event. The city recommends that visitors park on the west side of Interstate 80 due to parking limitations on-site. Visitors can walk to the shelter via The East Touchdown Plaza, the pedestrian and bicycle bridge that crosses the freeway. According to the city, several non­-profit animal welfare organizations will be present to share information about their services.

Learn about volunteering at the Berkeley animal shelter. (See the volunteer blog here.) Connect with Berkeley Animal Care Services on Facebook. Learn more about Dona Spring.

Related:
New Berkeley animal shelter is finally rising [08.12.11]
Free adoptions at Berkeley Animal Shelter this weekend [06.03.11]
Pets of the homeless to get help at People’s Park clinic [05.19.11]
Aquatic Park cleans up, tackles brackish reputation [08.09.10]

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  • guest

    went a week ago. very few animals in such a large building.

  • Dia

    This is wonderful. I’m going to look into volunteering.

  • bigdoglover

    Checked the shelter out last weekend. Huge building, but really small kennels. Looks like the humans got the biggest upgrade, with the cats coming in second. The dogs, not so much. I’m not impressed with the architects’ priorities, unless the city is responsible for those decisions. Then it’s the bureaucrats who are to blame.

  • http://twitter.com/berkeleybecca Rebecca Freed

    Thank you for this in-depth story. Berkeley should be proud of this accomplishment.

  • The Sharkey

    I was also a bit disappointed. A lot of the building seems like a poor use of space.

  • http://twitter.com/Veterinarydi Diana Engelhardt

    True, that the new BACS is housed in an architecturally exquisite building with many new remarkable features to improve the welfare of animals. Unfortunately, the BACS does not seem as concerned about the welfare of pet owners who are unlucky enough to have an animal escape from their home. A couple of weeks ago the BACS illegally (adhering neither to the obligatory 4-day waiting period nor the requirement of a mandatory release signature from the owner) signed over our 3-year old Labrador, Paddy, to an Emeryville police officer acquaintance. The BACS either falsified an owner release signature or simply ignored getting one in order to accommodate the officer. They responded to our inquiry on how this could happen by replying that the dog “needed an alpha male”, in other words, not an old woman; My mother, a retired ESL teacher who had volunteered at the shelter, was ordered not to return. The Emeryville police officer still refuses to return Paddy to us, even though Paddy is officially ‘stolen’. The Berkeley City Manager has not resolved the situation and the Emeryville Police Chief informed us that he could not force the police officer to give back the dog, since that officer “assumed we had signed a release form” – he instead suggested we take legal action against the BACS, as they were the ones at fault, not his police officer. As a UC Berkeley student and the co-owner of Paddy, I am saddened that something like this could happen in an animal shelter funded by Berkeley taxpayers, but I find it even more disturbing is that this does not seem to be an isolated incidence (see reviews on Yelp). Considering that BACS is forced to put to death 108 (9% of all dogs) dogs a year, one would think that BACS employees would be happy to reunite an escaped dog with their owner instead of illegally releasing it to a friend and robbing a shelter dog of a chance to find a home. Are Berkeley taxpayers, who apparently covered 7.2 million of the costs for the establishment of the center, aware of these questionable practices and the BACS employee’s disregard for CA laws?

  • TN

    I’m very glad that the shelter finally got built. It is by far a much better facility than the old one. Hopefully, because it is a calmer, healthier place for the animals and a more pleasant place for people to visit, the animals who need new homes will get new homes more quickly.

    I’ve adopted a pet from the old shelter. To say it was unpleasant is putting it too mildly. I think animals went un-adopted while there because it was so grim and not because of the cats and dogs themselves.

    But I’ve got to say that the process was a prime example of Berkeley’s dysfunctional decision making process. Even when there was no significant opposition to a new shelter and money was approved by over two thirds of the voters, it took 10 years after the vote for the shelter to open. We need to find a way to come to decisions a lot faster.

  • hilldah

    I have visited several times and each time the shelter seemed better and better. I even brought my 2 year old granddaughter and she loved being there with the animals, she was frightened when we visited the old shelter(all the loud barking). I can’t believe someone said that the kennels are too small. They are not and the fact that the dogs are not barking all the time is an indication that they are happy with their new diggs. Only in Berkeley people always try to find something to complain about. Can’t you people just be happy, it is a great place and an incredible improvement over the last one.

  • hilldah

    That is only your side of the story.

  • 4Eenie

    Not having visited the building yet, but I do have a comment on kennels/crates. Bigger is not better as far as dogs are concerned. Crates, for example, should be just big enough for a dog to stand and turn around–not for the human to save space, but because dogs are comfortable with/prefer a fairly tight space. So maybe the small kennel design was intentional?

  • 4Eenie

    This sounds very fishy.

  • 4Eenie

    I have a question. Are you implying that the 9% euthanization by BACS is above the norm? I don’t have stats on this, but from what you seem to be implying, this percentage is high. Clearly, some animals need to be euthanized–from behavoral or physical issues alone. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

  • peteena

    I don’t think you now what you’re talking about. I volunteer there & spend a lot of time there; the new facility is better for everyone, human and animal.

  • http://twitter.com/Veterinarydi Diana Engelhardt

    No, I am not implying it is above the norm – in fact, it is about 30% below the norm for Alameda County. The BACS deserves recognition for that. What I am trying to suggest, however, is that it is still a significant number and that giving away a dog who already has two owners to a former K-9 officer, now Emeryville detective, who obviously could deal with different breeds, is irresponsible when you have a number of perfectly fine and well-behaved dogs who are being held because their owners are either incarcerated or were given up merely because they are pit-bull mixtures. One interesting aspect is that BACS gives different explanations with regards to euthanization policies depending on who they talk to and when they talk to them- they tell volunteers in training that they never kill animals due to space constraints (which is probably true) and that they never put down animals that don’t have behavioral issues or are beyond hope physically – yet, some owners are first told that they cannot take their dogs home before they are fixed first without incurring a fine, but then receive phone calls the next day that they need to pick up their dogs ASAP, since otherwise the shelter would have to euthanize dogs to clear space for incoming dogs. The fact that BACS is not completely transparent about their policies and don’t follow CA law regarding adoptions, animal holding periods, euthanization and even volunteer practices is a problem, at least in my opinion.

  • http://twitter.com/Veterinarydi Diana Engelhardt

    Yes, this our side of the story. Feel free to share yours – why haven’t you already (my guess – because have broken state law and don’t want to admit it)? Funny how everybody at BACS claims that we legally surrendered our dog and that the Emeryville Police Officer/Detective adopted the dog legally and did not use his position to do so – yet, it is stressed during the volunteer orientation that a signed release signature form is needed in order to transfer ownership of an animal to BACS and later to somebody else. If we had signed a release form and if you had adhered to the mandatory 4 business day holding period (Hayden’s Law), why did the City of Emeryville Police Chief fail to produce this form? Because we did not sign it. But like I said – feel free to share your side of the story here (and if you do, please do so without lies).

  • http://twitter.com/Veterinarydi Diana Engelhardt

    You are right – it is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1471539440 Bernadette Ferriter

    My Labrador Retriever, Paddy, has still not been returned to
    his rightful owners – my daughter and me, who have his AKC/pedigree, microchip registration, and all. If he had been a three year old child, there would be an
    uproar. Well, Paddy is our child and I want him back. I have been treated
    like a criminal by BACS because Paddy twice escaped his enclosure.

    More importantly, the Berkeley Animal Care Services/BACS has
    broken its own rules:

    -No animal released without the signature of his/her owner
    -During the holding period of four business days, animals
    are not available to the public for adoption

    Paddy was released to Emeryville police officer
    Kevin Goodman on Sunday, January 6, 2013 after only one day in the BACS and
    without any signature of release by me, his legal owner.

    Previously, on 28 December, BACS gave me a receipt
    #R12-014644 for one hundred dollars ($100.00), which included charges for an
    examination, board, dhlpp & bordetella, and an additional medical history
    sheet which included vet visit, rabies, dhlpp, neuter.
    University Vet Clinic at 810 University Ave, Berkeley,
    94710, where BACS informed me that Paddy would be treated, has no record
    whatsoever for my dog which makes it appear that the hideous castration
    performed was done at your shelter (?)

    NO TAG AND/OR
    CERTIFICATE FOR THE RABIES WAS INCLUDED, MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO OBTAIN
    A LICENSE. ILLEGAL !

    It appears that the Animal Control Officers at BACS allowed
    Kevin Goodman to take possession of Paddy because of his police officer status
    and this same status is his protective shield as he refuses to return our dog to
    my daughter and me.

  • 4Eenie

    Okay, you and your daughter have an ongoing issue with BACS. Your daughter mentioned that there were reviews on Yelp that supported her negative view of BACS, so I took a look. Of the 26 reviews there, 15 are 5 out of 5 stars. 6 reviewers gave it 4 stars. 4 reviewers gave it 2 stars, and 1 reviewer (you) gave it 1 star. So I’d say that a vast majority of people have had good to excellent experiences with BACS.

    Your review of BACS is scathing and quite cruel to individuals who work there (shame on you), and also, you say some things there that lessen your own credibility. I empathize with you losing your dog, but I don’t know what you are hoping to gain here except maybe some catharsis.

  • http://twitter.com/Veterinarydi Diana Engelhardt

    What we are trying to gain is our dog back. Do you think we want to spend all of this time just to make the shelter look bad? No. What do expect us to do? Just sit back even though BACS gave our dog away illegally to a police officer who should be enforcing rather than breaking the law? Sorry – not going to happen. Oh, and we are not the only people whose dogs were given away by BACS without permission. That is why I referred to Yelp. Not to analyze the positive/negative review ratio.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1471539440 Bernadette Ferriter

    Shame on YOU for being so unfeeling towards a family who has lost one of its members just because this shelter and its staff, ie, Marcie B and Kindel, have become cozy with a police officer from Emeryville…I will continue to voice my opinion and will never stop trying to get my baby back from an arrogant, opportunistic cop who could have bought his own dog, could have taken one of the other available animals from the shelter, but NO…he had to have the Labrador and Marcie had to give it tol him – break CA state law, OK – wow, we are in Berkeley, so we can be as lawless as we like….GET IT, NOW …Mr 4Eenie…????? Probably not but who cares about you. Cruelty breeds more cruelty…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1471539440 Bernadette Ferriter

    Let us face it, people… there are far too many animals suffering and being euthanized here, ie, one is one too many (!) and this is a miserable collection of unfeeling, poorly educated individuals who have conned the City of Berkeley and its voters into a real Frankenstein monster of a shelter….WAKE UP BERKELEY!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1471539440 Bernadette Ferriter

    Wow…volunteering at this shelter was one of the most unrewarding activities I have ever been engaged in! The clown in the hat actually turned out to be ‘Officer Kindel’ who was so excited to give time to his young ‘kids’ that he refused to allot time for senior citizens (eeehhh, no way!) who wanted to complete their few hours for a ‘no seat belt’ fine…refused to take calls, Mr Arrogant, who fit right in with the rest of this miserable collection, regarded to as ‘staff’…hey, Sacramento! Take a good luck at what is going on in this shelter…animals are last in priority here; Just view at their crowded surroundings and look at the lavish space allotted to the likes of Kindel and Marcie B, the ‘animal control officers’, who rule like Feudal lords…

  • Brooklyn Vet Services

    This post is quite interesting.I am very happy after reading that finaly after a decade a animal shelter got built. Now animals are safe in this huge building and not facing any problem in their life.

    http://www.verg-brooklyn.com/

  • cheloiniguez

    Shelters large and small always have a great selection of animals looking for new homes http://www.seton.com/blog/2013/04/seton-springs-into-action-for-a-local-animal-shelter