Animal Shelter Ad Hoc Committee Holds First Meeting

Sgt. Daniel Roberts at the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/

Los Alamos Daily Post

Review of the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter’s organizational structure as well as its policies and procedures began Wednesday, Sept. 26, during the Animal Shelter Ad Hoc Advisory Committee’s first meeting.

County Council Vice Chair Christine Chandler proposed forming the committee and Council approved formation of the committee in July and selected its members in August.

“I am pleased to see that the Animal Shelter Advisory Board is off to a good start, with a committed group of residents interested in ensuring that our Shelter provides humane care for our shelter animals,” Chandler said. “I look forward to seeing their recommendations on best practices and the most effective and efficient structure for operating the Shelter.”

The committee includes Chair Wendee Burnish, Vice Chair Linda Zwick and members Wendy Marcus, Jennifer Jung, Melissa Bartlitt, Mary Timmers and Sally Wilkins.

The animal shelter is operated by the Los Alamos Police Department. 

The committee’s objective, Police Chief Dino Sgambellone said, is “essentially, the charter directs the committee to evaluate the shelter operations and bring back recommendations to the council that can improve operations and overall animal welfare.”

As far as the police department’s role in the committee, Sgambellone said they will support the committee members and provide any information needed. There are two, six-month phases for the committee to complete its scope of work, he said.

The scope of work, according to the committee’s charter, includes:

  • Consider other potential structures;
  • Provide estimates of costs of potential organizational structures and compare those costs to the costs of the current operational structure;
  • Recommend to Council as to what organizational structure would be best;
  • Present a report to Council;
  • Review policies and practices of the shelter; and
  • Recommend policies and practices needed in the community.

Sgambellone said the committee will meet once a month and he looks forward to its recommendations.

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