Monday, November 2, 2015

Humane Society of the North Bay holds meeting to discuss shelter's current state

(Originally published in the 11/1/15 edition)

   The Humane Society of the North Bay will be hosting a town hall meeting at the John F. Kennedy Library tomorrow to discuss the role of the shelter and its current financial challenges.
   HSNB is a nonprofit animal that works to take in stray pets and adopt them out. The shelter has a contract with the city of Vallejo to take in animals that the county brings in and hold on to them for their adoption program, board member Kristin Eddy said.
   “Because it costs $249 to pay for every animal that’s sent to the Fairfield county shelter, they want us to adopt out as many as we can,” Eddy said.
   HSNB started the contract with the goal of adopting out 500 animals. The number to date has actually exceeded 800 animals, which Eddy says is costing the shelter more than they expected.
   “We’re on city property, but we’re responsible for all the repairs,” she said. “If a tree falls down or the fencing breaks or if kennel doors get broken, it’s on us to fix and repair these things.”
   “Like a lot of nonprofits, we have financial challenges, but we’ve found we’re having even more this year,” she added. “Unfortunately, that’s partly due to our success.”
    Adding to this is the confusion of who does what. The animal control unit is not managed by the city but the Solano County Sheriff’s Department, per the new contract.
   “We don’t have a law enforcement part of our job,” Eddy said. “We’re just there to shelter and adopt out.”
   Therefore, the meeting will explain where the agencies intersect, Eddy said. Other questions to be answered include the necessity for an animal shelter in Vallejo, where the animals would go if the shelter didn’t exist and what the financial status of the shelter is.
    “We’re going to explain to the public the reality of running the shelter, what it costs and what we spend on dog food or vet appointments,” she said. “We have a staff and payroll we have to meet.”
   Eddy also wants to make clear that the shelter is not going to close.
   “Our mission is to not do that,” she said. “Our mission is not at that point. We need people to understand that when we say ‘Save our shelter,’ we’re not saying it’s imminent at all.”
   One thing Eddy suggests the community can do to help is to continue to donate.
   “We have a wonderfully supportive community who understand we love animals too and want to save as many as we can,” she said. “We want people to collaborate with us and be partners in this. We really all just share the same mission.”

   The meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8:45 p.m. tomorrow night in the Joseph Room of the JFK Library, located on 505 Santa Clara St. in Vallejo. For more information, visit

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