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Auburn, Calif.- The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved two important steps Tuesday in the county’s drive to build new two animal shelters.

Board members voted unanimously to update a needs assessment before proceeding with design work on the new shelters and to move ahead with plans for sharing a shelter site in South Placer with the Placer Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA).
One of the county’s new shelters will primarily serve South Placer’s rapidly growing communities.

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The second will replace the aging shelter at the Placer County Government Center in Auburn, which is commonly known as the DeWitt Center. The new, larger shelter will allow the county’s Animal Services Division to provide additional services and to better serve horses and other animals often found in rural areas.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved a letter of intent that will allow formal planning with the PSPCA to proceed.
The county and PSPCA would retain their independence, but would coordinate operations at the South Placer shelter.

‘Similar partnerships between local governments and nonprofit groups have been very successful elsewhere in the United States,’ PSPCA Chief Executive Officer Leilani Vierra said. ‘Placing county and our facilities together will be convenient for the public, and will allow us to share resources and provide services more efficiently. Most importantly, the partnership will be good for the animals, because it will help ensure we continue to offer high-quality care and services.’

 ‘We’re excited about working with the PSPCA because it is a stellar organization that provides outstanding services,’ County Executive Officer Thomas M. Miller said. ‘Placer County is fortunate to have nonprofit organizations that not only care deeply about animals, but also have the organizational expertise to provide services effectively and efficiently.’

The county would focus primarily on providing animal-control services and sheltering stray and abandoned animals. PSPCA’s priorities would be housing animals awaiting adoption and providing community-education services.

On Tuesday, the board approved hiring George Miers & Associates to update the needs assessment, a document completed by the company in 2004 that details the program and facility needs of the county’s Animal Services Division.

The update will analyze information such as animal-intake figures, staffing projections and plans for sharing a site with the PSPCA to help the county determine how large its new shelter needs to be. The company also has done a needs assessment for the PSPCA.

The county Facility Services Department is recommending that Miers & Associates also be hired to do design work on the two shelters. Its recommendation will go to the board after the update is complete.

In July 2006, the board approved plans for building two new shelters and placed both projects into the county’s Capital Facilities Financing Plan for the next 10 years. The projected cost is $20 million: $15 million to build a new shelter in South Placer and $5 million to replace the Auburn shelter. The board set aside $2.9 million in its 2006-07 budget for the projects.

 In a report to the board Tuesday, the County Executive Office said it is working with cities interested in helping finance the new shelters. Several cities contract with the county for shelter services.

The county intends to pay for shelter-construction costs caused by population growth through a Capital Facility Impact Fee on new residential developments.

In January, the board adopted the fee for projects in unincorporated areas. Cities that partner with the county in the two shelter projects will be asked to approve the fee for residential developments within their city limits.

The South Placer shelter will be built first. When it opens, the county will move shelter services currently offered in Auburn to the new facility, so it can demolish the aging Auburn facility and build the replacement shelter.

The following is an update also presented to the Board of Supervisors on March 6, 2007 regarding Placer County Animal Services:

The primary goal of Placer County”s Animal Services Program is to serve the citizens and animals in our County through educational and support services that insure the well being of animals.

Enhancements to Animal Services program

  • Upgrading our shelter software system to new Chameleon Shelter Software. This software allows shelter animals to be photographed on entry and stray and adoptable animals to be viewed on line. It also allows us to better correlate field and shelter services data.
  • Improving real-time access to after-hours license and ownership information by installing laptop computers in five Animal Control vehicles, thus, increasing the number of stray animals returned to owners without needing to be impounded at the shelter.
  • ย Increasing the shelter capacity for housing large livestock by constructing a new 6-stall modular horse barn on the Auburn shelter property.ย  The 36′ x 36′ metal frame barn can house six to eight horses in comfortable conditions during wet weather. Construction is currently under way and is expected to be completed in the near future.
  • Granting $30,000 in spay and neuter grants to four local nonprofit animal welfare groups resulting in over 300 low-cost spay and neuter surgeries to Placer County animals.ย  These voucher and low-cost spay and neuter programs have a direct impact on the number of unwanted animals entering area animal shelters.ย  Additionally, these programs attract owners with unlicensed animals to area veterinarians where they can be rabies vaccinated and licensed.
  • ย Working with the Office of Emergency Services to complete the Animal Control emergency evacuation plan for the Foresthill Divide ย– Iowa Hill Divide Emergency Plan for 2006.ย  Within days of completion of the plan, Placer County Animal Services assisted the Foresthill Fire Department in rescuing dogs, cats, horses and birds during the 2006 Ralston Fire.
  • Completing a comprehensive update of the Animal Services Policy and Procedure Manual to include programmatic updates as well as recommendations provided in the 2006 program audit performed by Animal Legal Veterinary Medical Consulting Service.
  • Hiring a new Senior Supervising Animal Control Officer, Tim Goffa, to supervise our dedicated Animal Control Officers in both Auburn and Tahoe Vista. Tim brings over 30 years of experience in Animal Services to our team.ย 
  • Hiring a new contract veterinarian, Dr. Roberta Peterson, to provide professional veterinary services to shelter animals.
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