VIDEO: Alameda animal shelter officials say they may have to close their doors due to costs



ALAMEDA (KRON) — Animal shelter officials in Alameda said that without additional help from the city, they may have to close the shelters doors.

It is a move that could leave the fate of hundreds of animals up in the air.

At Alameda City Hall, shelters supporters held a rally outside Tuesday night’s city council meeting. The shelter Alameda takes in 1,000 animal per year, but the cost of keeping the shelter going is going up and the staff is hoping the city will step up to help out.

Nancy Baglietto is the executive director of Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter or FAAS. She said that in 2011, FAAS entered into a contract with the city to provide animal services for about $300,000 per year.

Since then, the cost of operating the shelter has gone up to about 1.3 million per year while the city’s contribution has remained the same.

“And that is not enough for us to be sustainable into the future and we are having to use private fundraising dollars to bridge that funding gap,” Baglietto said.

Nancy and the shelter’s supporters are hoping to negotiate a new agreement with the city, and on Tuesday, they presented their case to the city council.

Outside Alameda City Hall, FAAS supporters held a rally hoping to convince the council to keep the shelter open.

Joe Sorquist volunteers at FAAS.

He says they provide a valuable service to the community.

“Many of the animals come in in very rough psychological or medical shape, and without the extra efforts that they do, I think many of these animals would just automatically (be) put down,” Sorquist said.

Alameda’s mayor, Trish Herrera Spencer, said on Tuesday that the city has been working behind the scenes to reach an agreement with FAAS.

While it’s too early to say for sure if a deal will be made, she remains optimistic.

“It’s a private-public partnership. I think that model works well,” Spencer said. “And I expect council to come up with a way to keep it long term.”

If the city decides not to increase FAAS funding, it’s possible that the job of animal control could be given to the police department.

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