News


Mountain View council dumps Palo Alto animal control service

City breaks off relationship with Palo Alto Animal Services after 18 years

Mountain View decided to break off its 18-year relationship with Palo Alto Animal Services on Tuesday night, with City Council members instead favoring a contract with a cheaper and more attractive Santa Clara-based agency.

The council's unanimous vote on Tuesday left Palo Alto on the hook for an estimated $7 million cost to renovate its Bayshore Road animal shelter. Palo Alto officials say they consider the shelter to be at the end of its lifespan and in need of seismic retrofitting. While Palo Alto had promised the city would not have to pay that cost, council members were skeptical and city staff estimated that it could cost Mountain View as much as $2 million. The city also pays Palo Alto over $400,000 a year for the services the animal shelter provides, but the move to Santa Clara would save $50,000 a year on average after a $300,000 investment in new equipment and facilities is paid off in five years.

"We want to do everything we possibly can to keep you as a partner," said Palo Alto police Capt. Bob Beacom. "It seems like breaking this relationship would fly in the face of regionalism and working together."

Mountain View is a "big part of animal services. We don't want to lose you," he said.

After visiting the Santa Clara facility at 3370 Thomas Road, council members sounded pretty sure they were making a good move in trusting the Santa Clara police and the Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority (SVACA) to pick up stray animals, shelter them, neuter them and adopt them out at a fairly high rate.

"I was very impressed with the services," said council member Ronit Bryant. "Clearly the emphasis is on doing the right thing."

Members noted details about SVACA that had won them over, such as a website feature that allows people to go online if they've lost an animal and see pictures of what animals are picked up and where they were found, mentioned by Mayor Jac Siegel. "They have artificial grass for the dogs that is so much more attractive than what we have in our dog park," Bryant said.

Several members noted a "positive" atmosphere at the facility and said that it seemed like the staff cared about the animals. Mountain View resident Don Ball said he happened to stop by and was impressed by the courteousness of the staff, and noted that people can drop off stray animals at the facility at any hour of the day. No one spoke against the move to Santa Clara.

The only drawbacks noted about SVACA were the costs for some services, such as a $150 adoption fee, which is higher than Palo Alto's $100 fee. Being three miles further away from Castro Street was not an issue, said Bryant, who was surprised at how quickly she could reach the facility via Central Expressway.

Staying with Palo Alto would have had the benefit of some increased shelter and field service hours. But city staff said Palo Alto's benefits were clearly outweighed by the Silicon Valley shelter's offerings. Having a seat on SVACA's governing board was appealing to council members, because it appeared Mountain View would have more control over animal services than it's previously had. SVACA would also take on criminal cases related to animals, freeing up Mountain View police officers for more important work.

SVACA was looking to be much cheaper in the long run as costs for the cities that use it, including Campbell and Monte Sereno, have been going down since 2006, while Palo Alto's costs were steadily going up.

"It doesn't look like it's actually in Palo Alto," Bryant said of the Palo Alto shelter. "And if it is going to cost $7 million to rebuild, I can't believe we aren't going to be asked to pay for that."

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Yep, PAAS is out of date in some areas and it sounds like Mt. View finally figured it out. Also, I've dealt w/some rude staff as PAAS even though they're not as busy as other local shelters.
I've had top notch dealings with their officers, but not office staff. They've gotten, according to their current rep, a bit complacent and live in their own world. A world, I should add, where their bosses at PAPD don't handle moral issues very well.

PAAS has always been treated as the stepchild of the PD, not as its own valuable entity. It is valuable, but those who care little for animal welfare, wildlife or the safety issues re people and animals don't agree.

PAAS does, overall, a very good job temperament testing animals and they're worth supporting.

Perhaps, w/loss of funding from MV, they can do a capital campaign to update their facility. That's what other local shelters have done.


Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm

> Perhaps, w/loss of funding from MV, they can do a capital campaign to update their facility. That's what other local shelters have done.

I would donate. I agree you about the staff, too.


Like this comment
Posted by Albert
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Mountain View has been dealing with this issue for a while, as this 1991 memo attests:

Web Link

So .. why does Palo Alto have to have its own Animal Control, when it could join the Santa Clara consortium?


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Joe, what have your experiences been?

I think the article reflected the attitudes of some of the MV folks, too, by saying police had more important work to do, rather than investigate animal-related crimes. I'm not an animal rights person, but I consider crimes against animals quite serious. Although I'm not sure exactly what crimes MV cops investigate re animals, if there isn't a PAAS cruelty investigator, it falls to the cops. Cops generally don't take crimes against animals seriously, or they lie & pretend that they do. Frankly, since the majority of crimes are property crimes and/or nonviolent crimes, it's pretty lousy for those quoted to be callous toward animals, imo. But again, it's the de rigeur attitude from cops.

Also, that comment about PAAS not even seeming like it's in PA is just stupid. It's common, and smart, for most animal service agencies to be adjacent to a main highway and/or away from heavily trafficked downtown areas in the suburbs.

I wish PAAS the best and I hope that this closed window of opportunity creates a door of opportunity soon to open.


Like this comment
Posted by Duh
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Why doesn't Palo Alto just join the Santa Clara consortium? It would cost Palo Alto less money and they seem to have a good group. They could use the old facility and maybe upgrade it. They probably need more room as it is. Many (for lack of a better word) "People" have abandon their pets onto the streets so I am sure the need for more space it needed. I think it's worth exploring.

As for the Palo Alto PD having better things to do then investigate cruelty to animal crimes, I think that is stupid. Everyone knows pychopaths start with animals.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Duh, I was actually referring to the quote re MV PD, not PA. I agree w/you, but honestly, discovered animal crimes that are given to investigators aren't as common as pop culture would have us believe. Of course, I say this while PHS is investigating the deliberate & horrific drowning of an elderly cat this week.

Perhaps it would be wise for PA to join forces - but it sounds like, regardless, the facility needs work. Perhaps animal-loving pockets might open up.


Like this comment
Posted by Tom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 4, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Palo Alto City Council should look at this and be ashamed of it. PAAS is living in the dark days, come on this shelter was built in the 1970 or even before that. Come on city council wake up because the way I see it , Los Altos will figure it out soon too.


Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Nov 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm

I think it took too long to Mountain View figure it out! Just by walking inside of PAAS you can see that the place is falling apart. PAAS is not safe for animals and neither for humans anymore. I feel bad for those nice people that work there, they are trying to make it better, but it is tough when you have the City Council and your Police Department working against you. I wish the best for PAAS.


Like this comment
Posted by Mirian
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2011 at 10:37 pm

I like the people at PAAS off course they cannot make every costumer happy, but they are very nice and they understand about animals. It is ashamed that Palo Alto Police and City Council don not see PAAS as a great partner in the City. I do agree that PAAS is too old and the way it is if the City do not do something about it, I can see PAAS closing up its door sometime soon. I know SVACA and it is a much better shelter and Santa Clara and Santa Clara Police are proud of having SVACA as of one them.


Like this comment
Posted by Elli
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 4, 2011 at 10:49 pm

PAAS costumer service 1 to 10, I give a score of 7.
PASS Animal Control Officers 1 to 10, I give a score of 9.9
PAAS Shelter 1 to 10, I give a score of 2.


SVACA costumer service 1 to 10, I give a score of 4
SVACA Animal Control Officers 1 to 10, I give a score of 7
SVACA Shelter 1 to 10, I give a score of 10

Like they already wrote PAAS does not have the support of the City or neither from the Police Department. Is too bad to see PAAS in this bad conditions I grew-up going to PAAS every saturday to se the animals.


Like this comment
Posted by Hughs
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 4, 2011 at 11:00 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Ronald
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 5, 2011 at 9:08 am

City Council and Police should be ashamed of this situation. Not supporting your own partners, come on very ashamed. PAAS facility is in bad shape we all know it, just by walking inside of it we can easily see it. Come on Palo Alto it is time move on.


Like this comment
Posted by Rose
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 5, 2011 at 9:15 am

Well PAAS is fighting this fight over a better shelter for years now. The thing is that Council and Police do not care at all about animals. My friend works for the city and he is an animal lover he tells me how shelter is and how bad it is. Even the animal officers they drive around in those old and falling apart trucks.


Like this comment
Posted by Valero
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 5, 2011 at 9:24 am

Regarding the old and falling apart trucks" ahhaahah" It is for real" One time not long ago I was waiting for the traffic to move on and in front of me there was a small truck from Animal services a white pick up truck. The traffic started moving but not the white pick up truck, ahahah, it was jumping a little bit and she died at least 2 before get going. Now about the shelter come on i am 40 years old and i remember my dad taking to shelter when I was 5 years old or so.. It is time to go forward we r 2012 not the 1960 anymore.


Like this comment
Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 5, 2011 at 9:33 am

Time to move on indeed. In these days of cost cutting, the city would be wise to get out of the animal services business entirely. It would undoubtedly be less expensive to join Mountain View and contract our services with the county. Why duplicate efforts when there is a perfectly suitable regional alternative.


Like this comment
Posted by Don
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 5, 2011 at 9:33 am

If you walk inside of PAAS you will see that not only the shelter is old and falling apart, but the staff also is falling apart and old too. I am 35 years old and my dad goes to this shelter since before i was even born and he tells me stories about some staffs from PAAS and my dad is 67 years old. PAAS staffs are very nice and helpful but like the shelter it self the staff need a change.


Like this comment
Posted by Jones
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Nov 5, 2011 at 9:41 am

Nice people, good animals in there. But old shelter. It has to change, cause if it does not there is no reason to keep it open anymore. Everything come to an end one day and i can see PAAS ends. Too bad, but if cannot provide your costumers a great service in all areas and if you don not have the support from your council member and police, it is time to hang up the gloves.


Like this comment
Posted by Palo Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 5, 2011 at 9:41 am

Interesting:

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by KT
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2011 at 1:11 pm

PAAS is horrible!!! My big fluffy dog got out of the house due to a loose screen door latch in a rental house and scared (not attacked nor touched) some woman and her little dog. The PAAS officer insisted that I replace the entire screen door instead of just the latch. He proceeded to literally stalk me for weeks and weeks with phone calls, notices etc (no fines). I replaced the latch, not the door....but this apparently wasn't good enough. Who was he to tell me that fixing the latch wasn't good enough? I ended up just ignoring him in the hopes that he would just go away like some crazy ex boyfriend! Finally, after months of harassment he stopped and I received a letter that if my dog ever got out again I would have to report in front of a judge who would most likely sentence her to death (really?)! Since then I absolutely refuse to deal with those people!! Mountain View is making a great decision to cut ties....they can do better!!


Like this comment
Posted by Bonter
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Mr. KT, I think you got it wrong, cause Palo Alto Officers do not have the power to take you to a judge. Since Officers in Palo Alto only have jurisdiction in Palo Alto. They can tell you what would be the best for your dog. Now it is up to you to listen what would be good to your dog. Now you are happy that SVACA is taking over MV, but you have to know that SVACA Officers will not pick up dead animals around the city or neither help wild life animals in need. I live in Santa Clara and i know what i am talking about it. If you drive around Santa Clara, Campbell you will see dead animals by the curb. PAAS is old and falling apart but i am sure that staff want a better shelter, but do way i see Palo Alto Council and Police do not give a shit about it.


Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm

It is unfortunate that the Palo Alto animal shelter building has not been updated or replaced since the 1970s; however, that makes it no different than the portion of city hall that the police department uses. It, too, is a 1970s era building and is in need of a costly earthquake retrofit or replacement. In fact, I think it is the oldest police facility in the county. I toured it once (no, not as a prisoner!). Pretty outdated.

With that in mind, I'm curious what people mean by a lack of support from the police department. Can someone fill me in?


Like this comment
Posted by Lee
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Well Bob, I cannot answer you question, but if put this way! Let talk plain english here! Police does not bring any cash to the city, Fire Dept does not bring any cash to the city right. Now animal services brings a whole bag of cash to he city and Animal Officers don not make not even half of Police officers make or fire fighters make. Now, do not say that Police and fire are different and the job is more risk, bla,bla,bla. I live here in Palo Alto for 50 years now and I have not seeing that much crime or fire in Palo Alto, but i see a lot of dead animals and things related to animals. Now, would not hurt the police chief and city council understand the needs and at least sit down with animal services staff members and try to do something about the condition of the shelter. Because MV is gone now Los Altos might follow MV.


Like this comment
Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Go on a ride-along and see how much crime takes place in PA, and what challenges the police have to face. The fact that anyone has to explain this illustrates how far out of touch with reality some people are. Unreal.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm

I have a crazy idea...considering that our city needs a new police building, why not contract out with SVACA (save money) and build a police station in the location of the Animal Shelter (save money). This way we don't have to pay an exorbitant amount of money for land, we put them in an area that has a fast approach to most parts of our city, and we save some money by letting go of the people employed at the shelter. Sounds like a win-win situation to me!


Like this comment
Posted by KT
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Bonter that sounds horrible...really, dead animals on the side of the road? uck. But, yes, I really dislike the PAAS and I still have the letter that states I will have to appear in front of a judge if I have one more incident with my dog. Maybe not in a criminal court, but even so...it was a horrifying experience nontheless! Maybe mountain view needs their own animal services facility....that could solve this problem!


Like this comment
Posted by Oscar
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Good move Mt. View... the palo alto shelter has had a lot of problems for a long time...glad that Mt. View has finally realized that...


Like this comment
Posted by MC
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 6, 2011 at 10:49 pm

This is a great move for Mountain View and I'm glad we'll be saving some cash, in addition to supporting a superior organization/facility. While the animal staff at PAAS is caring, my experience with the shelter administrators has shown them to be complacent, close-minded, and afraid of change.

It takes a special kind of person/staff to run a modern, resource-pinched, crowded animal shelter well but the PAAS administration feels more like a bunch of middle managers at Dunder Mifflin or the DMV. I'm glad my tax dollars won't be paying for them anymore.


Like this comment
Posted by stop
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Nov 7, 2011 at 7:19 am

The city needs to change their opinions on this,there is no need in change from animal shelter,no.Thay are fine.


Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:17 am

Well folks we can argue point fingers, but the truths is that, if you really care about your city like i do you folks should not be putting down our own city shelter by saying bad things. We should be proud to have our own shelter in the city and more proud to know we can provide services to others cities. Instead of saying that the city council or Police do not care about it, which i believe is the most honest thing! But, we have to work with them and see how they can help the shelter get better. PAAS is old and needs a big change, and i have to say it is time, cause we dog lovers can no longer wait for it. I think that the manager " Sandra Stadler" got the massage and will have to make a decision, but i have to say i always have a great talk with the employees and PAAS Animal Control Officers when i stop by or see the Officers out in the field. They very nice and respectful people. Now, I really love to see PAAS getting back up there, so instead of complaining let your city council and Police know how they could help PAAS, but make sure you have great and useful ideas. Because saying that PAAS is not good and bad things like that. It will not help and will not take longer to us Palo Alto Citizens to see Santa Clara Animal Control taking over Palo Alto too. And that would be ashamed.


Like this comment
Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 7, 2011 at 10:07 am

Although animal services falls under the auspices of the police department, they have little or nothing to do with the day to day operation at the shelter, including handling animal complaints or potential crimes related to animals. There are no police personnel assigned to the shelter at any level. The budget runs through the police department but that's where the association essentially ends.

To expect the police department to somehow better the situation at the shelter is unfair. It has nothing to do with them caring or not as some posters have suggested. The shelter is essentially a separate entity and whatever level of support they receive is completely up to the city leaders. The police department budget has been slashed over the years to help balance the budget, including the elimination of several positions. They are doing more with less officers than they had to work with even ten years ago.

Fact is the money is not there to continue to support a city program that can undoubtedly be outsourced for less cost. There time has passed and it is probably time to move on.


Like this comment
Posted by money talks
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 7, 2011 at 10:10 am

This is why you should get your pets from a reputable breeder who will accept the pet back if there is ever any issue with you keeping it.


Like this comment
Posted by gethin
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2011 at 10:37 am

Besides the positive comments and many negative comments I think we should look to the future. What is the best for the animals and what makes the most financial sense for the Palo Alto community? Based on this thread it seems to me that our money would be better spent using an existing high quality non Palo Alto facility than having to build a new one, staff it and maintain it.
Just because we have one and have had one does not mean we need to continue having one. There seems to be much better options.


Like this comment
Posted by stretch
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2011 at 11:01 am

Right, money talks, forget about all the animals being given up to shelters. Kill 'em all and spend big money on a breeder's animals - maybe even a puppy mill! The whole idea is to adopt animals in need, so they don't have to be put down.

Up-date the shelter in Palo Alto and keep up the good work being done there.


Like this comment
Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 7, 2011 at 11:10 am

Far too expensive a proposition to update the existing or to build a new shelter. The city is facing its worst budget crisis in decades. We must look for cost savings and get back on track. Besides, Palo Altans, as residents within Santa Clara County, have already contributed to the remodel and expansion of the new animal shelter in San Jose/Santa Clara. They could provide a more than adequate level of service at much less cost I'm sure. We need to outsource.


Like this comment
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2011 at 11:11 am

Lots of folks weighing in here.

Personally the age of the building doesn't bother me and I haven't had any problems with the people, although I have heard that it's not a "no kill" shelter and that all the staff are "dog people" so cats don't have much of a chance at the shelter.

There are ways to make a place better than have little to do with money.


Like this comment
Posted by money talks
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 7, 2011 at 11:24 am

Stretch, Did you even read the comment? If you only deal with responsible breeders that take the pet back, you don't have pets being given the animal shelters.
The only animals that will end up in the shelter are those from puppy mills, should you be interested.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2011 at 11:52 am

Money talks, unfortunately, your scenario isn't reality.All of us who've worked or volunteered in animal welfare are well aware how few reputable breeders there are vs backyard breeders and pet mills. Enforcing the latter two in the area would be much more costly than fixing or building a new PA shelter. While I understand your perspective, it's actually off topic because it's miles away from reality.

The ultimate responsible breeders, btw, rescue w/in their own breed AND take back animals.


Like this comment
Posted by money talks
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 7, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Yes, Hmmm, exactly. It's a buyer beware scenario. The animal shelter is subsidizing the back-yard breeders/puppy mills by taking over the costs of dealing with unwanted animals.
A quality breeder will deal with rescue/foster and taking back any pets that don't fit, which follows their cost structure. They also chip, contract and follow up with the new owners. They should even offering boarding services since there is such a paucity of good, non crated, boarding for dogs.
It's not far from reality. All three pets we own fall under this category and we have an on-going relationship with both breeders. The breeders also have long waiting lists since they only have 1-2 litters a year. This shouldn't be a surprise. A pet shouldn't be an impulse buy.


Like this comment
Posted by Jo Ann
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Mountain view evidently sees that Palo Alto services are not cost-effective. Duh. If only Palo Alto would see the same thing.

Plus I'm still furious about how treatment by PA Animal Services when we were on vacation in Hawaii and just fortunately drove into an area with cell phone service.

The dog sitter had left the gate open and our dog escaped and Animal Control had him. They gave us 30 MINUTES to come and get him otherwise they would have put Beau down. Our friends calling them wasn't enough for them. Instead, our friends had to track down our neighbor at work so she could swear Beau was really her neighbor.

What a crock. For this we pay more????


Like this comment
Posted by cat and dog owner
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm

yes, the shelter in PA is dated, but serviceable. Some of the attitudes are downright dumb, however. My neighbor was scratched by her own cat and the wound got infected. Urgent Care reported it to the county health department. PAAS officer shows up at her door and tells her the car MUST BE QUARANTINED. What??? OK, the cat likely had bacteria on his claws from being outside in the dirt. You can rest assured that if my neighbor had been gardening, scratched her hand, and it got infected, they would not quarantine her rose bushes. The wound may have been reported as a bite, but if the animal is current on rabies vaccinations, I do not comprehend why this practice is necessary and certainly NOT for a scratch.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 7, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I agree with Marrol lets outsource Animal Services, but also we should outsource Police and Fire Dept too. Also instead paying tax in Palo Alto lets start paying tax to Santa Clara. I think people like this Marrol would be very happy. Why not change the name to Palo Clarita, instead of Palo Alto. What a neighbor i got.


Like this comment
Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm

And I'm sure that you're a fine neighbor Jack despite our apparent difference of opinion on this matter. I'm not sure why you think our opinions would exclude us from being good neighbors, but oh well. As for the topic at hand, I also believe it would be unwise for a city like PA to outsource our emergency services. In addition to availability, I also think that critical services of this magnitude should fall within the scope of city control not just in terms of operation, but also for hiring, training, and other personnel matters. Animal services are indeed important, but not at the same level as the police and fire department. For that reason, and because the county offers a perfectly adequate alternative at lower cost, I believe it would be wise to seriously consider that option.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Marrol, your idea has merit. Obviously, I don't live in your town, but when I think of the size of PHS & that they serve the whole county, it's doable for PAAS to become part of another agency. The thing is, here in the south county, the service that we receive isn't that great. Given how entitled your town's residents feel, I don't know how they'd feel about being given service from an agency that isn't totally local. Yeah, people want to save money but they also want excellent service - sometimes you don't get both.

It's no fun driving nearly 20 miles to the animal shelter & people in MP & EPA often feel left out because we're at the south part of the county.

There aren't any easy answers, but perhaps if PA received regular patrol by an outsourced agency, that would help. Knowing how many calls for service & the types of service would be an important piece of info. PAAS also uses a lot of local rescue groups for cat issues- this is common for many animal welfare agencies, because the cat problems - feral & domestic - are way out of control. Feral cat population in PA is pretty bad, too, so issues like that would have to be addressed.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm

So Money talks, what would you have done w/all of the stray animals? I am glad that you've had dealings w/responsible breeders, but I just don't see your ideas coming to fruition any time soon!


Like this comment
Posted by money talks
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 7, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Hmmm, are you really asking my opinion on how to run an animal control service? But, in case you were serious....
You can't regulate puppy mills and backyard breeders but you can put them out of business. Lower your prices and pre-requisites and undercut them. Offer a chipped & neutered/spayed animal from a shelter at a lower price than from a puppy mill pup. Advertise in the same places as the puppy mills at lower prices and make sure customers come to you first.


Like this comment
Posted by Debbie
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm

I am a resident of PA and an animal lover. I urge residents that have had their pets chipped at the PA Humane Society to call the pet chipping company to verify they have all the pertinant information about their pet. I have had 2 cats chipped at the PA Humane Society. I called the pet chip organization to verify they had all my personal information in case my pets were lost. To my shock and dismay, PA Humane Society had neglected to give the chip organization my phone number for one of my pets. My second cats chip information had never been submitted to the pet chip company. The PA Humane Society is responsible for submitting the information to the pet chipping organization after they chip an animal. What a disgrace. The hispanic gentlemen that weighs your animal and generally organizes the pets for the vet, prior to neutering, is fabulous. Some of the other staff is unfriendly and disorganized.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Debbie, are you confusing PA Humane Society w/PAAS? They aren't the same org. The former actually is now located in Menlo, the latter is the focus of the article & is on West Bayshore in PA.


Like this comment
Posted by Debbie
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Regarding my pets being chipped and the proper information not being reported to the pet chipping organization. I am referring to the location on W. Bayshore in PA. I think it is called the Spay and Neuter Center. Thanks.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:00 am

No marrol, now I see that you have no idea regarding Animal services at all. My brother lives in Stanford and the County is in charge of picking dead animals, stray animals over there, but not long ago my brother had a dead raccoon in front of his house for 3 days, he called the "COUNTY" did you come to pick the animal" NO, because the COUNTY never came. So, who showed up "PAAS" ...Also my brother teaches at Stanford and one time there was a dog running loose at campus and stanford PD called the COUNTY to come down. The COUNTY said that it would take at least 4 hours to get to stanford. So in the end who stanford called! That's right "PAAS Officers again". So, there is no that "The COUNTY offers a perfectly adequate alternative for a lower cost". Also a lots of people are happy with SVACA in MV, but they do not know that SVACA Officers won't pick wild dead animals and neither accept surrender animals. So, R ya still wanna go for a lower cost?


Like this comment
Posted by Our pets
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm

The palo alto facility is last century, if not the one before it.
The staff though helpful are also last century. Try visiting the newer shelters to see what I mean.
Be honest, don't you leave the palo alto shelter feeling sorry for the animals left there!
Yes bottom line it's all about the animals,


Like this comment
Posted by Anon,
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 8, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I am mostly in the dark about what Animal Control Services do in the city of Palo Alto, so I'd appreciate it if someone could clue me in.

When I have called them over such things as 5 raccoons being in my yard tearing up my new sod or a skunk that comes by now and again they say they cannot do anything.

So ... besides collecting paychecks from Palo Alto residents what do these people do except answer phone calls and defect actually doing anything related to animals?


Like this comment
Posted by Taylor
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Nov 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Anon, I was an Animal Control down in Southern california fews years back and answering your question! Is pretty much against the Law to remove a live wild life animal from its location. That was why the officer told you that, there was nothing he/she could. You should call pest control next time. Pest control will have to report to Fishing & game after they catch the raccoons. And, I just moved to Palo Alto 3 years ago and citizens of Palo Alto should be happy and thankful for having such a great animal services, cause some places in southern California look like a 3rd world country with dogs running around. Now, it is not the animals fault, but just like here, citizens in southern california looked for a cheaper way to get the job done, but did not work. So, looking for a cheaper way is not the answer believe me...


Like this comment
Posted by Safety First
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm

This is a commentary about when and why a pet owner will go before a judge, what an officer's job is concerning animal complaints, whether pet owners are responsible and how to check public records to see if there are any issues with owners and their pets, how to avoid being around risky animals and irresponsible pet owners, how to check to see if your pet sitter is a responsible pet owner (which could indicate whether that person should be sitting for your pet or not), and also what we can do to support our hardworking officers and shelter staff.

Sometimes animals do get out even with the best of loving and responsible pet owners. However, if Animal Control Officers are trying to repeatedly make contact with residents and residents and being told they will have to go in front of a judge, from what I know from an officer is that if an animal has exhibited dangerous behavior in the past, and it was reported and is on record already, then that same animal will be subjected to a dangerous animal hearing in front of a judge if another incident occurs. Officer do try to make contact repeatedly if the owner is not answering the door, so that is not stalking, they are just doing their job when following up on a complaint or report of an injury involving someone's pet.

I am all in favor of supporting our officers monitoring and taking action against individuals who do not make their environments safe, subjecting others to potential harm. The happiest pets are those who are played with regularly, taken on walks regularly and socialized (for example, in the case of dogs) so the dogs know they are not in control (dogs who are allowed to do what they want and not socialized to mind their owners are potentially more dangerous and are not the happiest creatures if they feel they must be the alpha over the human).

Some people erroneously think that because their dog is a rescue that because said dog had a "hard life" in its past that the dog shouldn't be asked to mind its owner, which is not thinking about what is best for that animal as far as understanding dog nature (I know of someone who actually thinks that way and has uncontrollable and depressed behaving dogs with dangerous tendencies). It is often such pet owners who do not take the time to contain their animals properly or take the time to socialize or taking them to dog/owner training school who end up going up before a judge eventually.

Animal Control officers work hard and earn their money, often seeing situations that are unfortunate yet not bad enough to do anything about, and the shelter and officers are short staffed and underfunded, so I for one would be willing to do whatever I can to donate my time and funds to help these good people provide a valuable service to the communities they serve!

By the way, anyone who has a neighbor with animal issues, such as barking or containment problems can go and look up the owner's Animal Control record (it is viewable to the public) and also personal injury (dog bite) court cases (claims cases are online in each county and also viewable to the public). In Santa Clara County, for example, if you are not comfortable with someone and the way they manage their pets, you can look up their history at sccaseinfo.org to see if they have a troubled history or not, and whether that person is a responsible pet owner as in the case of personal (i.e., dog bite) injury cases.

Before allowing your children to play with the neighbor's pets, before going into a person's home with dogs for any reason at all (whether you are a friend, neighbor or pet sitter), please check to see if there is a history of problems with the pet owner before interacting with or going near the animals. This is also a good way to check out whether your local neighborhood pet sitter is responsible for his or her own pets, which could indicate whether the person would be responsible and loving toward yours! An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I, for one, hope we can all support the shelter and staff (through volunteering and donating funds and supplies), especially since they have been dumped by MV. I know from first hand experience that these officers work hard to protect all of us, and that if an officer is repeatedly coming to the door, it is because they are not stalking, but trying to follow-up on a complaint. Once having talked to the owner, they will not invade privacy unless they have to, nor will the officer likely mention a dangerous animal hearings unless there is a prior history of complaints. The officer is just trying to get to the bottom of what is going on, and is not trying to frighten anyone, they are just trying to make sure that everything is okay, especially if there is a serious complaint where injuries occurred. There must be more to the story if someone believes that an officer is stalking, but officers must keep attempting to make contact until they can talk to the owner to clear the complaint.




Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

He said – she said – who is lying? Justice Brett Kavanaugh or PA resident Christine Ford
By Diana Diamond | 71 comments | 3,198 views

Global Warming Diet
By Laura Stec | 8 comments | 1,343 views

Couples: "Taming Your Gremlin" by Richard Carson
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,233 views

Preparing for kindergarten
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 679 views

 

Pre-registration ends today!

​On Friday, September 21, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run, or—for the first time—half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More