Tag Archives: Dona Spring Municipal Animal Shelter

Government

Berkeley animal shelter budget raises questions

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
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Community supporters of Berkeley’s municipal animal shelter have been raising alarm bells about the shelter’s budget for the coming fiscal year — and their concerns about the city’s lack of budgeting transparency are broadly shared.

The proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts in July is $1.69 million, which is comparable to what the shelter ultimately got in the fiscal year that ends this month, City Manager Christine Daniel told city officials by email May 27.

But shelter supporters say that amount has not been enough to cover operating costs, and fear the shelter may be forced to close one day a week or more as a result. They say the shelter has struggled to cover increased utility costs in its new, larger space, which has a sophisticated air filtration system to cut down on the spread of diseases. Supporters say, too, that services the city used to pay for, including a spay-and-neuter program for low-income residents as well as training for pit bull owners, now must be funded through community donations.

The budget has come before council and the public several times since May 20, and is expected to be approved next week.

According to city spokesman Matthai Chakko, a detailed budget that would show utility costs for the Dona Spring Municipal Animal Shelter is not available: “The budget doesn’t have line items to that degree,” he said via email. Chakko said animal shelter director Kate O’Connor was not available last week for an interview. He said the shelter is “fully funded,” but did not respond to questions about whether the shelter might have to reduce its hours. (The facility is currently open seven days a week.)

The lack of transparency has been a bone of contention for shelter supporters, particularly those who worked to help build the new shelter and fund some of its services. … Continue reading »

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Nature

Update: Unhappy ending for crow rescued in Berkeley

Crows in flight. Before they took to the air, they were calling to one another and hanging out in pairs in bare trees. Location: Fairfax. Photo: Elaine Miller Bond
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A city animal control officer rescued an injured crow Thursday afternoon after it got tangled in a piece of string and stuck in a tree 40 feet off the ground in West Berkeley.

Workers in an office building called the city Thursday at roughly 2:10 p.m. after noticing the bird struggling but unable to take flight, said John Kindle, an animal control officer for the city.

The Berkeley Fire Department responded to the scene, at 700 Heinz St., along with Kindle, to assess the situation.

When Kindle arrived, he used binoculars to take a closer look. He saw the crow high up in the tree with what appeared to be string tied to a branch and wrapped around one of its claws. … Continue reading »

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Public art a casualty at Berkeley animal shelter

The shelter's new digs provide a safer, calmer atmosphere for animals, supporters say. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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While most new structures built using city bonds are decorated with public art, Berkeley’s new $12.4 million animal shelter is not. City staff skipped out on the municipally-mandated public art process during construction and the reasons why remain difficult to pin down.

Since the project’s inception in 2002, shelter plans ran into a range of obstacles, from difficulty finding an appropriate site to a series of cost overruns. As a result, said Deputy City Manager William Rogers, the city decided not to set aside $142,500 of its budget for public art, despite a Berkeley ordinance that requires municipal projects to do just that.

Others familiar with the project said the decision not to include public art in the shelter was due to a failure to put the proper language in the bond measure that funded construction. Whether that was an oversight or an intentional decision to ensure flexibility in the project budget is unclear.  … Continue reading »

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Planting in the sky: Berkeley’s secret rooftop gardens

The Berkeley animal shelter's roof garden as of fall 2012. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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There’s a secret green side to Berkeley, one that is not visible from the sidewalk.

They are Berkeley’s roof gardens — oases of calm amidst a city of concrete. Some were created to provide food, others to make buildings more energy-friendly. Whatever the reason, they remain mostly unseen.

Over the past few weeks, Berkeleyside has located several living roofs around Berkeley. Of course, journalists can’t fly, so we likely did not find every rooftop garden. By contacting architects, squinting at Google Maps, and combing through past exposés on green living, we found four living roofs scattered around the city. If you know of any roofs that we missed, please let us know in the comments. … Continue reading »

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Dog license fees to rise, other Berkeley Council decisions

Animal services head Kate O'Connor in front of the new animal shelter. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Raised fees for a number of city services were agreed on Tuesday night by the City Council with relatively little debate and no public comments. Dog licenses will at least double: from $7.50 to $15 for a one-year altered dog licence and from $18 to $40 for a three-year altered dog license. Fees for animal adoptions from the city shelter are also going up.

Kate O’Connor, manager, Animal Care Services, said that her department estimated there were about 40,000 dogs in Berkeley. In FY12, 1,722 animal permits were issued (virtually all for dogs — she said only two cat licenses were issued). O’Connor’s estimate was that 20-25% of Berkeley’s dogs are licensed, which Councilmember Laurie Capitelli pointed out is probably an overestimate given the number of issued licenses.  … Continue reading »

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Pets dumped in Tilden cause problems, become dinner

Tilden Little Farm4 Mary Flaherty
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The abandoned chickens appeared one afternoon in December, in the parking lot near Tilden Park’s Little Farm. Nine of them, right next to the bus stop. Whoever dumped them had sprinkled feed on the ground, and apparently hoped the Little Farm would adopt them. Not so.

“It’s as much as I can do to keep these animals clean, alive and fed,” said the man known as Farmer Stanley, gesturing to the chickens, cows, sheep and pigs he has taken care of at the farm for more than a decade.

At least two of those abandoned chickens became dinner for the local wildlife, judging by the piles of feathers found on the ground, said park staff.  They think – or at least hope – that some of the chickens were adopted, in response to an ad posted, because a bunch disappeared all at once.

The month before the chicken-drop, it was a white bunny, left in a cage at the same spot. Last summer there were five kittens. … Continue reading »

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News

Photos: Berkeley’s new animal shelter is officially open

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This weekend saw the official opening of Berkeley’s new animal shelter, the Dona Spring Municipal Animal Shelter.

It was 10 years ago that voters approved a $7.2 million bond to build a new home to care for abandoned and sick animals, the shelter cost $5 million more than the original budget, and it is in a smaller space than the city originally envisioned. (We published the full story on how the shelter came to be on Jan. 31.)

However, on Saturday, it was all about celebrating its arrival. Berkeleyside contributing photographer Nancy Rubin captured the flavor of the opening ceremony with these wonderful photos. See the full set on her Flickr gallery. … Continue reading »

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After a decade, Berkeley celebrates a new animal shelter

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

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News

New Berkeley animal shelter is finally rising

Berkeley's animal shelter under construction. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Berkeley’s long-awaited, much debated animal shelter is finally under construction on Bolivar Street in West Berkeley. It is scheduled to open in 2012, ten years after voters passed Measure I to sell bonds to finance the construction.

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News

Free adoptions at Berkeley Animal Shelter this weekend

Rose cat for adoption
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By Julia Musto

This Saturday and Sunday only, all adoptions at the city’s Berkeley Animal Care Services shelter (BACS) will be free, as part of the organization’s annual “Adoptathon” matchmaker.

Adoptions will be free to qualified adopters, and the shelter will receive $500 for every dog or cat adopted, courtesy of Maddie’s Fund. (To qualify for a free adoption, people must have documentation proving home ownership, or a rental contract stating you can have pets.)

The shelter will also receive $1,000 for every adoption of a senior animal, or animal with a long-term medical condition.

This is the second year for the event and the second year BACS has participated, according  to BACS coordinator Amelia Funghi. “The event is a vehicle for adopting homeless animals in Contra Costa and Alameda counties and also a fundraiser for local shelters and rescue groups,” she said. … Continue reading »

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Non-profits

Low-cost pet vaccines Sunday

Low-cost vaccine clinic held at Berkeley Animal Care Services in October 2009. Photo by Patsy Slater
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The city’s animal shelter and the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society are teaming up to hold their second vaccine and microchip clinic this weekend. Vaccines for rabies, dog distemper and parvo (DHPP), dog kennel cough, and common cat infections (FVRCP), will be offered for $5 each.

Microchips, which provide permanent pet ID and help reunite lost pets and owners, will be available for $15. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

The clinic will be … Continue reading »

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Events

Low-cost vaccine clinic for pets this Sunday

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This Sunday, as part of Animal Shelter Awareness month, a vaccine and microchipping clinic for cats and dogs will be held outside the city’s animal shelter.  Rabies, DHLPP, kennel cough, and FVRCP vaccines will be available for $10 each, but those in need will not be turned away for lack of funds. Microchips, which identify lost pets and help return them to their owners, will be available for $15, but this fee can also be waived for those in … Continue reading »

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