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Public Offers Support For Animal Shelter

on February 22, 2019 - 5:39pm
Many community members attend the Animal Shelter Ad-Hoc Committee meeting Wednesday night to show support for the animal shelter. Courtesy photo
 
Animal Shelter Ad-Hoc Committee members during Wednesday night's meeting. Courtesy photo
 
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post
 
The Animal Shelter Ad-Hoc Committee's (ASAC) meeting Wednesday night in the Municipal Building featured a full house with many people voicing their support for the Los Alamos Animal Shelter.
 
There had been some concern voiced prior to the meeting that the shelter would close due to a lack of funding.
 
“At this time, there are no financial issues, which would cause the shelter to close,” Shelter Supervisor Sgt. Daniel Roberts said., adding that the police department does provide nearly $400,000 for the animal shelter budget each year.
 
Roberts said a new shelter manager was recently hired and a new Public Safety Aide will be joining the shelter’s team, increasing its staff to four.
 
“We have no plans to close,” Roberts said, adding that more staff helps the shelter to be open continuously rather than having to close periodically when public safety aides need to respond to a call.
 
Also during the meeting, the ASAC reported on the findings of a recent community survey, which revealed that the public gave high marks to the shelter.

The public survey, which was conducted mid-January through the beginning of February, garnered 259 responses, Roberts said.

Survey questions ranged from the care of the animals to the cleanliness of the shelter, he said.
 
The responses, he said, were “very positive from the police department’s stand point.”
 
Committee Chair Wendee Brunish agreed.
 
“I think most folks thought that the shelter is doing a good job and that the shelter is important to the community,” she said.
 
She said Roberts is dedicated to making improvements within the resources that he has available.
 
There is always room for improvement, however, Roberts said, adding the police department has already incorporated some of the committee’s suggestions.
 
“We as the police department are committed to keep the animal shelter running (and) we made improvements here and there to accommodate their (the ad-hoc committee’s) expertise,” he said.
 
One area survey respondents said could use attention would be the shelter’s staff numbers, Brunish said. The level of staffing can affect the shelter’s hours of operation and the services it offers, she said, adding the recent new hires should help.
 
Brunish said the information gathered from the survey, as well as the multitude of input gathered outside of the survey, will ultimately help the ASAC with its mission.
 
The ASAC’s mission, according to a press release, is to provide a recommendation to the Los Alamos County Council, along with high-level cost estimates, as to what type of organizational structure best meets high standards for the humane treatment of animals while providing a high-level of service to the citizens of the County. This recommendation should be aligned with the needs and expectations of the citizens and the local animal rescue community. The recommendation is expected to be presented in May.
 
The ASAC members include Brunish, Vice Chair Linda Zwick, Melissa Bartlett, Wendy Marcus, Mary Timmers, Sally Wilkins and Jennifer Young.

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