First Person: A conversation with Sandy Stadler | News | Palo Alto Online |


First Person: A conversation with Sandy Stadler

Superintendent of Palo Alto Animal Services talks about her career helping animals

For more than 14 years, Sandy Stadler has been superintendent of Palo Alto Animal Services, which is located on East Bayshore Road and serves Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

The paid staff takes in more than 3,000 animals each year, including cats, dogs, fish, roosters, guinea pigs, rabbits and more. More than 40 volunteers -- from age 16 up -- help with dog walking, cat socializing, special events and administrative tasks. One volunteer hosted a fundraising party, with the money raised going to a dog trainer to teach the staff and volunteers about handling special behavioral issues.

More than half of the animals that come through Palo Alto Animal Services' doors are returned to their owners and almost all of the rest find new homes. One dog, Ella, an "older" Pomeranian with bone cancer, has been adopted by the shelter and reportedly rules the roost.

Watch full video

Interview by Lisa Van Dusen. Video by Rachel Hatch.

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Posted by Janet
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 25, 2011 at 11:11 am

It would be wonderful if the Palo Alto Humane Society could persuade Stanford to let THEM have the contract for dealing with strays that Stanford picks up. Currently the poor animals are trucked to San Martin (a kill shelter) and the owners have no way of knowing this. The PAHS does an absolutely wonderful job with respect to spaying and neutering and they run a great place with caring staff.

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Posted by Jo Ann
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 25, 2011 at 11:55 am

Animal Services is performing a much-needed function and animals need all the help they can get. When I read "50% are returned to their owners" I was reminded of what happened to us where some Animal Services guy called and said "we had 15 MINUTES TO GET OUR DOG OR HE'D BE PUT DOWN!"

This happened about 10 years ago. The jerk didn't care we happened to be in Hawaii and that our dog sitter or the garbage men must have let Beau out of the yard.

Through dumb luck our cell phone worked in a remote area on Maui. The nasty Animal Services guy who called said we had 15 MINUTES to have someone pick up our dog Beau or they'd PUT HIM DOWN!

We managed to reach a friend who volunteered to get him. We called the guy back and THAT wasn't enough for that jerky guy. A "responsible neighbor" had to be tracked down at work, too.

Fortunately our friends found our neighbor and they BOTH had to go and pick out our dog!

Our dog was fine, but that was one terrifying incident. I shudder to think of what would have happened if we'd been in a dead zone and missed that call or our friends and neighbors couldn't take off work to BOTH go get him.

I sure hope Animal Services reads this and teaches their employees common sense and manners!

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 25, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Looks like Mountain View isn't interested in continuing their contract with Palo Alto for animal services. Please see: "Mountain View sniffing out new options for animal services" (Web Link)

Mountain View has contracted with Palo Alto since 1994, but may be able to save money using the Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority.

Like this comment
Posted by animal lover
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 25, 2011 at 11:57 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
My favorite is the Humane Society of Silcon Valley (HSSV) that is a wonderful place to see cats for adoption, and to help as volunteers by giving the animals love in nice little rooms with play toys, and a large room with windows for socializing the cats, etc. etc. It is a very nice setting for adopting a cat, or just loving a cat.... It is in Milpitas..Definitely a place to go!! There are also dogs, and a large fake grass area to play on. Top Notch place.

2 people like this
Posted by Amanda M.
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2012 at 10:24 am

I live in Redwood City, and volunteer at Palo Alto Animal Services. Not only is it an excellent place to volunteer, but it is also a safe harbor for the animals, where they are treated well and cared for. It would be a horrible loss for the community if this shelter were closed. While HSSV is a good shelter too, of course, they do not have the policy like PAAS of taking owner-surrendered animals. PAAS will take any animal being owner surrendered, whereas HSSV will only take your owner-surrendered animal if they have space.
PAAS also has the best dang spay and neuter clinic around. They do between 12-15 daily spay and neuter surgeries, which prevents literally thousands of homeless babies from being born. PAAS is a gem for not only Palo Alto, but the many surrounding communities, and should NOT be closed by the ciity, but instead supported and grown to even fuller potential!

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