Budget Crisis Could Threaten Critical County Animal Services

The Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA Urge citizens to contact Board of Supervisors
June 10, 2010

NEW YORK—The nation's leading humane organizations are deeply concerned about the fate of animals in Sacramento as county officials consider the fate of the city's animal shelter at a public hearing next week.

Two years of county budget cuts have resulted in a 40 percent reduction in animal care staff and could severely limit the shelter's ability to save more lives through adoption and return-to-owner programs. The cuts come after the county already made a commitment to the welfare of local animals by building a new animal shelter.

"The new shelter holds such promise for improved animal care outcomes in Sacramento," said Jennifer Fearing, The HSUS' senior state director. "But no building can stop our County's animals from suffering and dying in higher numbers if there's not enough staff to protect animals from cruelty and neglect, take in homeless pets, care for them, clean their kennels and promote their second chances."

The Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) are urging Sacramento County residents to attend the Board of Supervisors budget hearing and pre-hearing rally starting at 1 p.m. on Monday, June 14 on the south steps of 700 H Street in downtown Sacramento. Concerned citizens are also urged to contact their County Supervisor by letter or e-mail before June 14.

"In 2009, the ASPCA selected the Sacramento community as one of 10 ASPCA Partnership communities. Since that partnership was formed, the community has made significant progress, including a 33 percent increase in spay /neuter," said Julie Morris, senior vice president of Community Outreach for the ASPCA. "County officials must know that making further cuts would be devastating. These proposed cuts threaten not only the level of care that Sacramento's homeless animals deserve, but could render the community unable to be proactive in saving more animals' lives."

Any proposed reductions could mean:

  • Animals in distress or suffering from cruelty, neglect, or injury may not get timely or adequate protection from the only agency in the County that conducts humane investigations.
  • The public will be at increased risk from dangers caused by slower response times to calls about animals in the road, dog bites, and dead animal removal.
  • Many shelter animals will not receive the basic veterinary care that could make the difference between life and death.
  • The County's staffing ratio would fall far below recommended minimum animal care standards, increasing the risk of disease outbreaks, unsanitary living conditions, and poor animal welfare.
  • Current investments in efforts to combat pet overpopulation will also be reduced.
  • Limited resources to attend to suffering and sick animals will adversely impact the number of dogs and cats' lives saved throughout Sacramento County