Protecting California's Animals

Oakland can be transformed into a “no kill” city, making it a nationwide leader in animal welfare, lowering taxpayer costs (it can cost up to $250 to hold an animal for euthanasia and dispose of the body) and saving animal lives.

Oakland kills approximately 50% of its shelter animals annually. Of the 4623 dogs and cats who found themselves at the facility last year, 2227 were euthanized. These deaths are unnecessary. The following represents a brief outline of measures that can be taken to become 100% “no kill.”

1.     Remove Oakland’s Animal Services (OAS) out from under the directive of the police department.

2.     Appoint an Oakland Animal Commission.     

3.     Raise the salary and adjust the job requirements for the Director of Animal Services position. 

4.     Establish a Director of Animal Welfare Program (DAW) for every district in Oakland. This is a volunteer, unpaid position.

5.     Implement a Humane Officer Program. See full proposal for details.

6.     Ignore conventional “wisdom.” Hire OAS employees who are creative, flexible and compassionate, and who are committed to building relationships with rescue groups and the community.

7.     Cut OAS programs and positions that do not save lives.

8.     Establish a nonprofit organization (with a Board of Directors) for OAS to permit receipt of Maddie's Fund dollars in addition to other fundraising money. 

9.     Create an ongoing and comprehensive volunteer and foster network.

10.  Change or extend OAS hours of operation to coincide with the hours that the public are available to adopt.

11.  Establish off-site adoptions at events, malls, pet-related businesses.

12.  Implement an extensive program for low-cost or free spay/neuter.

13.  Partner with as many rescue groups and nonprofits as possible.

14.  Evaluate success based on the total number of animals brought into the shelter vs. the number killed. Never temperament test cats and always give dogs the benefit of the doubt.

15.  Keep the animals happy: walk the dogs four times per day and the cats twice.

16.  Create a Trap, Neuter Release (TNR) program for feral cats.

17.  Generate community involvement and enthusiasm. Do not blame the public; ask for their help to solve the problem.

In conclusion, Oakland can become the first U.S. city to become 100% “no kill” and one of the first to become 93% "no kill." If the 93% policy had been in place during the past year, over 4500 of the 4623 dogs and cats taken into the Oakland animal shelter would be alive

 Please read the full proposal and contact me with any questions.

 Thank you.

 Charlotte Laws
 Californians for a No Kill Commission