Tag Archives: Jill Posener

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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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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Pets of the homeless to get help at People’s Park clinic

HarleyQuin in a cast
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In February, some people were sitting on a wall in Berkeley when one of them jumped off and accidentally landed on the leg of a puppy, HarleyQuin.

Shadow, the street name for HarleyQuin’s owner, rushed the dog to a nearby vet but didn’t have the $60 it would take to have her examined. Shadow left the office and hoped for the best, but HarleyQuin’s leg continued to swell.  Shadow didn’t know how he would help his dog until he connected with a new Berkeley nonprofit Paw Fund, which helps homeless and low-income people provide medical care for their pets.

Paw Fund, which was started by Jill Posener, a photographer and former Animal Care Commissioner, arranged for a doctor to put HarleyQuin’s leg in a cast. It also paid the $700 doctor’s bill, although Shadow eventually contributed $210.

Berkeley has dozens of homeless youths like Shadow and many of them have dogs.

“It’s common for people without homes to have dogs for companionship, for warmth, and for protection,” said Posener. “For many people living on the street, their animal is their family, the one creature in their immediate circle who they can depend on to love them unconditionally.”

But since these youths often move from city to city and have to scrounge for food and a place to sleep, they often don’t prioritize their animal’s health, said Posener. As a result, many of their dogs and cats haven’t gotten their vaccines, are riddled with fleas, and produce litter after litter, exacerbating the number of unwanted pets in the region that eventually are euthanized. … Continue reading »

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