Tag Archives: Pets in Berkeley

Take your dog to dinner: It’s now legal (within limits)

Bill and Sandra Weber, and their dog Annie, enjoy lunch on Picante's pet-friendly patio. Photo: Natalie Orenstein
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California is catching up with France: dogs will be allowed on restaurant patios and in other outdoor dining areas when a new law goes into effect January 1.

The change may be unnoticeable in Berkeley, where many restaurants have allowed dogs to join diners outdoors for years. The little-known prohibition was rarely enforced.

“We don’t get a lot of complaints, maybe three to five a year, so we would respond to those to enforce the state law if it was violated,” said Manuel Ramirez, director of Berkeley’s Environmental Health Division. … Continue reading »

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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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New Pints for Paws fest will benefit Berkeley Humane

Berkeley East Bay Humane society at 9th and Carleton. Photo: Jasper Burget
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Cats, dogs, and beer don’t often come up in the same sentence, but that could soon change thanks to a unique fundraising event for Berkeley Humane.

The Pints for Paws beer festival on June 7 at the Urban Adamah farm at 1050 Parker St. will bring together many well-loved elements: dogs, cats, humans, and brewer’s yeast. There will be a selection of 80 craft beers from more than 20 breweries, and attendees are encouraged to bring their (on leash) dogs.

Highlights from the festival include the chance to meet local artisanal craft brewers, cider makers, and wine makers and a wide range of delicious food will be provided by local food trucks and vendors. There will also be live music to bring the whole event to the next level. … 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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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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Adopt a Pet: Paco, a mellow, happy dog looking for a home

Paco
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By Shelley Carlisle

Que Pasa? Me, that is: I’m up for adoption! Let’s celebrate freedom together this Cinco de Mayo You, me, the couch, a Corona? (well maybe not a beer, but some yummy authentic chicken snacks would be awesome).

My real name is Paco, but most of my people at the shelter call me “happy boy,” “super nice guy,” “lap dog,” “love bug,” “mellow guy,” “belly-up dog,” and “lazy bones!” Even though I like to lay around and get belly rubs, I can also trot well behaved next to you if motivated by refreshing bay breezes, any kind of grass, and other doggie markings!

Every time I’m out on a walk, everyone stops to admire me, so suave and elegante. When you see my big ole’ head and silly grin, just think that there’s more of me to love and give kisses! My manners are pretty darn good too… after an hour training session of practicing my good “look,” “sit” and “down” (this is my natural state) and “leave it”, I’m ready for a looooong siesta, preferably with my head in your lap, and possibly with the right doggie girlfriend.  … Continue reading »

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Adopt at Pet: Sweet feline sisters Helene and Marie

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Helene and her sister Maria are super lovable, active, playful, affectionate kitties. These great girls are in a foster home now in the East Bay. They need a real home now. They are great cats!

Fun-loving, but also purring lap kitties, they have been with The Milo Foundation since May of 2010, and are desperate for a loving home.

They are friendly and sweet with people, and are adorable together, cleaning and preening each other.

They are beauties with different styles that complement each other. Helene is the fluffier beauty, and Maria is the caretaker and protector, playing games when they get a chance. Maria is more interactive with people, Helene is more independent. Maria will wash your face for you. … Continue reading »

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Check in with Berkeleyside’s weekly Adopt a Pet story

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Berkeleyans love their pets — even if they don’t always love what some of them leave behind on the sidewalks and walking trails.

But there are still too many dogs, cats and other pets that are bought and then abandoned, left out in the wild to die, or simply neglected. That’s where organizations like The Milo Foundation and local animal shelters step in.

Berkeleyside has partnered with The Milo Foundation to highlight some of the pets locally that are looking for a loving home.

Every Saturday, we profile a pet, or pets — be it a trio of adorable puppies, Dani and her offspring Donald or Mammy, the cat that became Milo’s mascot — in the hope that someone will scoop them up and give them a home, whether permanent or as a foster carer. … Continue reading »

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Adopt a pet: Mammy, a friendly, easygoing cat

Mammy
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Mammy was the “mascot” for two years at Merced Animal Shelter. Everyone loved her. When the shelter became too crowded for her to have her own space, she was going to be euthanized. The staff begged Milo to take this lovely cat, and we did, even though we knew that an 8-year old, toothless cat would not be an easy adoption!

Mammy’s foster mom’s notes: “Mammy is very friendly, easygoing, and not skittish at all. She just goes with the flow. Very quickly she made herself at home. She spends her time perching in the window or sleeping on my bed, looking for belly rubs, and is eager to meet new people.”

Mammy previously contracted the Herpes virus, which attacked her gums, hence Mammy has no teeth now. Her little tongue sticks out sometimes because of it. She only eats wet food, since she cannot chew hard dry food anymore. Herpes affects the upper respiratory system and causes a cat to sneeze, cough, or have a runny nose or eyes when having an outbreak. Mammy has been fostered in the East Bay since August, with never an outbreak. … Continue reading »

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Good news: Obi, the missing Jack Russell Terrier, found

Obi
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Obi, the Jack Russell Terrier who went missing from his north Berkeley home yesterday, has been found safe and sound.

Owner Kate Farnady picked him up from the Berkeley Animal Shelter after it opened this morning at 11:00am.

“Some kind person picked him up at the Rose Garden
and brought him in to the Berkeley Shelter,” said Farnady. “Another kind person spotted my post on Craigslist and emailed me to say he had seen a post on Petfinder matching Obi’s … Continue reading »

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