Overcrowded City Shelter Finding New Ways to Relieve the Pressure
San Francisco – Animal Care & Control, doing the heavy lifting for San Francisco’s most at risk animals, is bursting at the seams with dogs, cats, kittens, rabbits and a variety of small and exotic animals. With limited funding and space, shelter staff is looking for innovative ways to ease the crowding. The shelter is so full, members of the public surrendering dogs are being asked to wait until there is more room. Small dogs are being housed in cages meant for cats as the shelter seeks to save lives.
Helping to open up some space at the shelter, WOOF (Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos), officially started Monday. Five dogs will be placed with screened, qualified and approved participants for socialization and training. The selected dogs cannot yet be made available for adoption at Animal Care & Control due to behavioral or health issues. After WOOF participants work with the dogs, they will be returned to the shelter for adoption – or may be adopted by their WOOF handler. WOOF organizers have been working diligently - interviewing applicants, evaluating dogs and setting up training protocol. For more information about the program or to view footage of applicant interviews, please visit: www.animalshelter.sfgov.org.
Rabbits – frequently surrendered to Animal Care & Control and accounting for the third largest species population at the shelter – are now being put up for adoption at Pet Food Express (1975 Market St.). The satellite adoption center housed cats for the past year, and adoptions have been brisk – with over 200 cats finding new homes. Shelter staff knows that the location will help move some lucky rabbits into happy new homes too.
In addition, Animal Care & Control is hosting a month-long special adoption sale – “Hot August Pets”. Most adoption fees have been reduced by 50% - and second cat or kitten adoptions are free with the first feline adoption.
Taking in numerous animals of all species, conditions and age every day makes the City shelter’s work challenging but their resourcefulness in building partnerships and creating new models continues to make SF/ACC a model municipal shelter.