Palo Alto's animal services get help from county

Santa Clara County's newly approved budget includes $47,000 for city's cash-strapped animal-services operation

Palo Alto's financially troubled animal-services operation received a welcome boost Friday when the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved a budget that provides $47,000 for the local animal shelter.

The one-time contribution, which was proposed by Supervisor Liz Kniss, comes at a time when Palo Alto is considering major changes to the facility on East Bayshore Road. The animal shelter has been providing services to Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills since 1993, but its operations were put in jeopardy last year when Mountain View opted to switch to the Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority. The move will deprive Palo Alto of about $470,000 in Mountain View revenues.

City officials had initially proposed shuttering the shelter altogether and outsourcing animal services to another agency. But this proposal was ultimately rejected by two City Council committees, each of which recommended keeping the shelter open but exploring ways to cut hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenditures in the next few years. The debate over animal services has also prompted an outpouring of grassroots support for the local shelter and the formation of a new fundraising group, Friends of the Palo Alto Animal Shelter.

Though the gift from the county doesn't solve the city's animal-services quandary, it reduces by 10 percent the shelter's gaping financial hole. Kniss, a former Palo Alto mayor who is now running for her old seat on the City Council, characterized the allocation as a way to give the city some breathing room as it transitions to a different operational model for animal services.

"Animal Services are very important to the community, and in light of recent events Palo Alto needs some time to revamp the services and budget," Kniss said in a statement.

The newly passed $4.1 billion budget also includes funding for a variety of nonprofit groups and organizations focusing on safety-net services. Recipients of county funding include the Community Mammography Access Program, which serves low-income women in community clinics; the Sunnyvale Community Services Agency and the West Valley Community Services Agency, which provide food and emergency assistance to their communities. The budget also restores $379,154 to the Social Services Agency's Senior Nutrition Program.

"Many of the programs I support focus on prevention," Kniss said in a statement. "By investing in such services now, we avoid worse prospects down the road, in both monetary and human terms, of trying to address community needs."


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Posted by No-More-Incumbants
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2012 at 6:40 pm

> The one-time contribution, which was proposed by
> Supervisor Liz Kniss

Could this be the same Liz Kniss who wants to be reseated on the Palo Alto City Council? It's hard how she is not using public funds to run her just-about-to-start campaign.

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Posted by moi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2012 at 8:27 am

Yes, Ms. Kniss is running for office.

What she did is commendable, no matter the motivation.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm

The irony is that there are comments about protecting the children when one of the problems we have are that there are too many children. The comment above is all about selfishness, but nothing has been said about being careful w/family planning as well as how we behave on days like today - & all other days.

How many people reading this use a clothesline? Car pool and/or use public transpo some of the time? Grow a bit of their own food? Don't worship their lawn? Don't buy a gas guzzler when it's time for a new car?

We all have to balance convenience w/preservation. But the lack of clotheslines in the area will show you how few of us even are willing to reframe the difference between convenience, necessity & that confusing place in between.

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Posted by Kniss suddenly all over
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 17, 2012 at 12:37 am

There is no escaping the sudden Kniss juggernaut. She has selected particular groups and is pandering (that is, giving them resources) like you have never seen. First, an overpass for bike riders, old people, now animal lovers. She will try to buy her way into the council where she can repay the developers who have always $upported her.
Who's next? sick children? schools? emergency preparation? the elderly are always an easy target. Scare them, Liz.

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Posted by No voter
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 17, 2012 at 11:39 am

Typical Liz Kniss, she's using taxpayers money to buy her way back onto the Palo Alto City Council.

Thank goodness there are enough voters in Palo Alto who want to see the City make some reasonable budget cuts and get City Hall's spending under control for the future.

Centralizing the Animal Shelter at the Santa Clara Humane Society makes sense since very few stray animals are ever picked up in Palo Alto. The taxpayers of Palo Alto, by maintaining the animal shelter, are supporting surrounding neighborhoods by providing them with animal services.

OK Liz buy your way back onto Palo Alto's City Council and spend, spend, spend.

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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Family Planning, using clotheslines? HUH? The story was about the animal shelter.

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Posted by Old Town Paly Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 18, 2012 at 10:14 am

I am so thankful that this animal shelter is getting the much deserved help it needs to stay open.....Palo Alto and surrounding communities need this shelter and it's services ! THAT is the bottom line people really have nothing better to do than read into motives and attempt to pick apart the politics of such a positive thing as this decision? Sad for you....ABSOLUTELY ESTATIC FOR OUR ANIMALS!!! THANK YOU for helping to save our Palo Alto Animal Shelter :)

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Posted by Cur Mudgeon
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 18, 2012 at 11:14 am

to Hmmm--

Years ago a neighbor was promoting "Energyfast" when I was a newly divorced single working mom. He knocked at my door and we had a pleasant conversation about using clotheslines, walking, biking, etc. and I told him in a perfect world, that would be nice, but the fact is that we are no longer a small rural village and when you have moms (or dads, or BOTH) who need to work in order to LIVE here and support families, maybe there isn't time for biking or hanging clothes when there are only so many hours in a day. That still holds true today.
NOTHING is affordable in the spendy Bay area unless you are a techie gazillionaire.

As for Liz Kniss's action, it's what politicians DO--get over it. I'm glad it went to our local shelter instead of some other shelter, or to fund high speed rail, or bus lines that no one rides, or restriping streets to create traffic congestion at major intersections.

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Posted by Barbara
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 18, 2012 at 11:36 am

KUDOS to Liz Kniss, and to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors for the $47,000 to the Palo Alto Animal Shelter!! Wonderful news!!

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Yes, it was posted in the wrong thread & I actually flagged it & it wasn't removed. Hah!

Cur Mudgeon - my working mom, raising three kids, w/a working husband & lots of pets managed to hang clothes, so most of us can, too. I love hang drying, then if need be, throwing them in the dryer on no heat to soften & get pet hair off. Now clotheslines are considered unsightly, which is a total bummer. And speaking of animal shelters...they of course have to use clothes dryers for all of the animal bedding. Thankfully, PAAS's volume isn't so high that the laundry is an insane job to do.

And to tie this to both threads - family planning for humans & pets is important. It's sad w/that the latter so inexpensive that so many who fail at the former don't instill it in their offspring, at least for pets. It's certainly a big problem here in EPA - where residents can get their pets altered affordably & conveniently both at PAAS & PHS. I love recommending PAAS to locals as a great place for vaccines & neutering.

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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm

> “… very few stray animals are ever picked up in Palo Alto.”

Could we please have some data to support this statement?

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I'd love to know how many strays are picked up, too. Plus, of course, they don't just serve Palo Alto.

There're also the baylands to consider, where feral cats are, plus wildlife. I've found stray dogs & cats in the baylands before & have found snakes in adjacent parking lots which needed assistance. I love the term "pick up strays" as if there isn't any work to it. It ranges from going to a destination to pick up a detained animal to chasing them down in often inconvenient locations. This can take some time, too, & is a multi-tasking job that requires balancing a number of stressers.

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Posted by LuvCats
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm

So cute that the full name is "PAAS", that rhymes with PAWS!
LOVE Animals, take care of them well please.

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Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 18, 2012 at 5:31 pm

The actions of Liz Kniss what might be "what politicians do," but it is greatly appreciated nevertheless.

Hmmm, thank you and bless you for helping the cats, dogs, and snakes! You sound like a true friend to animals.

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Posted by Kniss suddenly all over
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 18, 2012 at 9:25 pm

The negative remarks about Kniss refer to her overall effect on the city. It's great that the shelter is being helped, but there are other issues of great importance and citizens should also look at larger issues, not only your immediate personal benefit.
Kniss is not good for Palo Alto. She is tightly connected to development interests. Our town is over built, we cannot handle the traffic which is becoming horrendous; the schools are bursting at the seams and they are constructing buildings on playing fields, reducing children's play space.
So she may be "helping the cats, dogs, and snakes" but you need to add "helping major developers" to it.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 19, 2012 at 12:02 am

Kniss suddenly all over - I'm the one helping the dogs, cats & snakes - not Kniss! I agree w/you re her. I dealt w/her during her original rise to power (insert eye roll here) & I still can smell the sulfur! Ok, that's an exaggeration, but I know you know what I mean. Part of her strategy is updating her name recognition in your town to garner votes.

Miss Nora - I love helping critters. It is stressful when I can't stop & help or they're beyond helping. I'm not interested in helping most politicians, however, so I mostly stick to animals - I trust them more ;-) Here in EPA, many people are incredibly backwards about animals. It's not just that they may not be able to afford the best food & medical care, it's that they have an attitude that animals are disposable - literally. They'll buy a badly bred dog but not bother to leash it, so it gets hit by a car or stolen. Then they just buy another. They get a cat & don't get it altered, then dump it when they move or it inconveniences them. The harshness that envelops their lives gets put on their animals. It both saddens & sickens me. PAAS has does a good job when dealing w/EPA residents - it's impressive.

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Posted by No Voter
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Pat asks: “… very few stray animals are ever picked up in Palo Alto.”
Could we please have some data to support this statement?

Yes, the representative from the Animal Shelter told the Finance Committee that "...very few stray animals are picked up in Palo Alto, compared to the numbers that come from surrounding towns.

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Posted by Michele
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Well, a woman dumped her 2 dogs in a carrier at the Palo Alro Hearing Center at Loma Verde and Middlefield and left yesterday. Employees in the medical offices called Animal Control to come pick them up. Poor little dogs were very frightened. We do need our shelter. I have called them twice in the past six months for strays. They always come quickly and are very kind.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Duveneck School

on Jun 5, 2017 at 8:14 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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