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SF’s new $60M animal shelter on the way

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Maybeline the puppy licks an Animal Care and Control employee’s hand at their office in San Francisco, Calif. September 1, 2011 (Mike Koozmin/2011 S.F. Examiner)

San Francisco plans to borrow $60 million to build a new animal shelter.

The fate of the project at 1419 Bryant St. faced some uncertainty when it was removed from a previously planned city bond brought to the voters earlier this year.

But through the efforts of Supervisor Katy Tang and other supporters of a new animal shelter, The City plans to use a different borrowing method — specifically, certificates of participation — to fund the project. The proposal was approved Wednesday by the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee.

If approved by the full board Nov. 29, as expected, construction would begin in summer 2018 and finish in fall of 2020. The existing shelter is widely deemed inadequate and also unable to withstand a major earthquake.

“If anyone of you have visited the shelter you have seen the great need for the new shelter,” said Michelle Watson, a co-chair of the Friends of Animal Care and Control, a charitable group for the animal shelter.

She said a shelter should be “be self sufficient for 72 hours both to protect animals and workers inside and also be able to take care of people and animals displaced from their homes.”

Watson also noted that the current shelter is “pretty crowded” and small enclosures aren’t good for animals’ health. She added, “Right now ACC staff is unable to properly isolate sick animals and so that can lead to disease spreading throughout the shelter.”
The shelter is operated by the Animal Care and Control city department.

Because The City is incurring debt on the project, the $60 million cost will increase with interest to $110 million.

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