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Born Free USA Blog

Born Free USA Blog

It Takes a Village!

Published 06/18/10
By Susan Trout, Program Assistant

We’re all familiar with that statement but it takes on a different meaning with respect to Monday’s long and impassioned hearing before the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors regarding severe, pending budget cuts to the County Animal Shelter’s budget. Since we made you aware of this situation just a few days ago in an urgent Action Alert, concerned animal lovers responded and Monday, many went before the Supervisors, pleading for no further budget cuts to an already severely-challenged budget. The volunteer force that assists this shelter is truly remarkable and is the “village” required to help address the problem of unwanted animals. But caring for animals is part of what a civilized society does and to expect this shelter to be operated solely by volunteers is unrealistic.

The residents of Sacramento voiced their approval for a bond measure several years to replace the ancient, dilapidated shelter with a wonderful new facility that now encourages visitations, provides comfortable and roomy accommodations for animals, has greatly increased adoptions and animals being re-united with their owners, offers funding for low cost spay and neuter services—the cornerstone of every meaningful effort to reduce pet overpopulation--and, in general, contributes to the greater good of this community. But, if more budget cuts take place, how long will this facility be able to operate? The statistics presented yesterday were not only sobering but heartbreaking. Three out of five animals entering the County Shelter don’t leave alive. Sacramento County is home to more than 1,000,000 residents and covers easily a thousand miles geographically. We’re going to expect two full-time officers to handle the myriad of complaints and have them also do double-duty by cleaning kitty boxes, too? It’s just not acceptable and those who feel strongly voiced their impassioned pleas during the hearing. I can tell you unequivocally, that if decisions would be based solely on expression, we accomplished our mission.

Let’s hope our voices had the powerful effect and they will spare the Shelter more cuts. You can help during these trying times. Visit the Shelter’s TEAM effort at www.sacanimalshelter.org. If you are a Sacramento-area resident, perhaps you could volunteer or make a tax-deductible donation through TEAM.

We know we can count on your support! Thanks!

Til next time,

Susan

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