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  • Writer's pictureSusan Houser

Alameda, CA

The city of Alameda (not to be confused with Alameda County) has 74,000 residents and is located on Alameda Island and Bay Farm Island in San Francisco Bay. Estimated median household income for Alameda is $67,000, which is somewhat above the California median household income of $57,000.

In January 2012, the city of Alameda contracted with a private non-profit called the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS) to manage the city shelter. The city retained management of animal control. The city was able to cut its budget costs for animal sheltering by more than two-thirds in its deal with FAAS.

FAAS described its owner surrender policy in a November 2013 newsletter, noting that “we are an ‘open-door’ facility . . . . This means we accept all Alameda’s abandoned pets regardless of age, temperament, health, breed or any other factor. . . . Kennel space is always at a premium (especially in the summer), but we don’t turn away Alameda animals . . . .” The shelter charges a small fee for owner surrenders.

Two FAAS officials reported In a recent newspaper article that about 70% of the animals the shelter takes in can be put up for adoption as soon as the holding period is over. Another 20% of animals require medical or behavior rehabilitation before being put up for adoption. About 4% go to rescues who can provide sanctuary or other specialized care. The remaining 6% are euthanized for behavior or medical reasons. The 6% includes dogs that FAAS considers too dangerous to be rehabilitated, which are about 2% of total intake.

In 2012 FAAS intake was 820 dogs and cats, which is 11 pets per 1000 population. The live release rate for 2012 was 94%. If owner-requested euthanasia and animals who died or were lost in shelter care are included with euthanasias, the live release rate for 2012 was 91%. In 2013, the shelter’s intake increased to 901 dogs and cats, but the live release rate remained 94%, or 91% if owner-requested euthanasia and animals who died or were lost in shelter care are included with euthanasias.

In 2010, before the FAAS takeover, the city shelter had a 79% live release rate with an intake of 753 dogs and cats (scroll down in the link to City of Alameda Animal Shelter). One improvement with FAAS has been in adoptions, which rose from 313 in 2010 to 437 in 2012 and 460 in 2013. The shelter has also increased its reliance on its rescue partners, with 192 transfers in 2013 compared to 32 in 2012. In a 2013 Annual Report FAAS describes plans for a new shelter in the future and mentions its new programs, including a food pantry, an expanded rescue group network, a fund for medical care, more volunteer opportunities, and kennel enrichment.

Alameda, California, was originally listed by this blog on December 15, 2013, based on its 2012 statistics. This post is a revision and update with 2013 statistics.

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