By Emerson Drake
We’ll file this under better late than never. This should have written this several weeks ago.
The Animal Services Meetings are usually held quarterly and with the exception of the Governing Board members are, like most government meetings, poorly attended by the public. But that would be about the only downside to this meeting. Executive Director Annette Patton wanted to express the entire staffs heart-felt thanks for their exceptional volunteers for without them the JPA couldn’t begin to accomplish everything they do. From processing and grooming to staffing the weekend Off Site Adoption program where many animals are found home, these volunteers are what makes the Animal shelter function smoothly. They have one volunteer who puts in 40 hours a week regularly.
A note of concern was voiced regarding people from the Alternative Work Program are missing more and more scheduled hours because they are realizing the Sheriff doesn’t have the necessary jail space to pull them back into custody or the people to follow-up. So if you like animals and have some spare time on your hands they’d be happy to have more volunteers.
The Dog License Amnesty Program was an unqualified success in January and was extended into February. They processed 7,145 licenses and plan on repeating this program sometime next year. But don’t wait for amnesty, keep your pet license up to date.
Adopt a Shelter Cat Month Program and Seniors for Seniors are two new programs they are rolling out June, 1, through June, 30, 2013. Kittens and cats can be adopted for just $15 compared to the normal $40 as the cats are neutered prior to adoption and the $40 just covers the cost of the operation. The Seniors for Seniors is FREE and designed to help find older cats homes. The cats will be over five years of age and are traditionally harder to find homes. Presumably the seniors who adopt these mature cats will be a little older than five. .:)
The proposed County Model Ordinance to prevent cats from being abandoned after being trapped was delayed until the next meeting to work out some suggested language. Several citizens requested a time limit cats MUST be turned in by in order to provide humane treatment after the cats are trapped. Also there was discussion from Stan Risen from Stanislaus County to keep the penalties at citation/ticket only level. Fortunately Deputy Chief Mike Borges of Ceres suggested a compromise allowing Police Officers the ability to use citations as a first line of control but to also have the ability to write misdemeanors. I think that’s a good idea besides Stan Risen made a point of mentioning District Attorney Birgit Fladager has higher priority Misdemeanors to prosecute. But having the option should work well. The vote was put off until the next meeting but things are still looking good for the ordinance.
The Proposed Budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 was accepted. It’s truly amazing how much they can get done with only 30 paid staff members with some being scheduled 7 days a week. It explains why staff makes a point of saying how important volunteers are.