Sunday, January 8, 2012

Alameda animal shelter turned over to non-profit group

Alameda animal shelter turned over to non-profit group
ALAMEDA, Calif. —
The city of Alameda announced Wednesday that it would be handing over the reins of the Alameda Animal Shelter to a group of volunteers working to keep the shelter open.
City officials planned to turn over the keys to Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter, who would operate the shelter from the on, at an 11 a.m. news conference.
The city proposed shuttering the shelter, located at 1590 Fortmann Way, in June to help close a $7.5 million budget deficit. At that time, the shelter was operated by the Police Department, which needed to cut $1.3 million from its budget.
But after the group petitioned the city to find a way to keep the shelter open, the City Council agreed to a deal in which the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter would receive $300,000 annually to run the shelter for the next 15 years.
The group agreed to pay $1 in rent to the city annually, and after 15 years their lease can be extended.
The $300,000 was expected to go toward hiring several staff members, including the shelter's new executive director, Mim Carlson, who joins the Alameda Animal Shelter after serving as executive director at the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society.
In addition, Tina Aedo, the shelter's current volunteer coordinator and rescue liaison, was hired to manage day-to-day operations. In total, five full-time and two part-time employees would be hired.
Two part-time animal control officers will remain employed at the shelter as well, at a cost of $80,000 per year.
Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter interim executive director Tom Cushing called the arrangement a "classic win-win-win agreement that saves the city money, keeps the shelter local, and ensures the animals continue to receive excellent care."
The group said the deal saves the city money in salaries, since nonprofit employees are typically paid about two-thirds of a public employee's salary.

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