Evan DuCharme/S.F. Examiner file photoA volunteer works with a dog up for adoption at Animal Care and Control.

Evan DuCharme/S.F. Examiner file photoA volunteer works with a dog up for adoption at Animal Care and Control.

Supervisor Scott Wiener seeks extra resources for Animal Care and Control

For at least a decade, the amount of resources dedicated to the Animal Care and Control agency has remained flat even as The City is known for having more dogs than children at an estimated 120,000.

Supervisor Scott Wiener, who says his District 8, which includes the Castro and Noe Valley neighborhoods, has more pet owners than other supervisorial districts, is calling on city leaders to boost funding for the Animal Care and Control office.

“It is very important that we as a city provide a safety net agency that is being funded and staffed in a way that matches the critical importance and significance of animals in this city,” Wiener said. “We have not done that.”

Data presented during a Thursday Board of Supervisors committee hearing called by Wiener showed the agency’s budget in fiscal year 2003-04 was $3 million and has grown to $4.9 million currently due to costs such as employee health care. While the agency’s staff has remained at 41, about two animal care officers have been left to respond at any given time to between 12,000 and 13,000 calls for service annually.

The agency, run by director Rebecca Katz and overseen by the City Administrator’s Office, performs multiple functions including enforcement of state and local animal laws, veterinarian services, providing an open-door shelter and responding to animal abuse cases.

Wiener said he’s received increasing complaints from residents about the lack of response to unruly dogs in dog parks. He also noted that the agency’s shelter had to temporarily close down two days a week due to budget problems.

Additionally, because the agency is housed in an aging facility, The City is exploring whether to renovate or relocate the facility.

Some animal advocates believe a greater investment into the agency would unleash its potential. Longtime dog care advocate Sally Stephens, who chairs the advisory Animal Control and Welfare Commission, said that with more resources the agency could achieve the “no-kill” goal for sheltered animals and also launch innovative programs.

“For example, they could administer programs to pair shelter animals with kids in the juvenile justice center or inmates in county jail,” Stephens said.

The agency handled 10,307 animals last fiscal year, including cats, dogs and birds. There is a daily average of 500 animals in its shelter.

Wiener said he will make increasing funding for the agency one of his priorities in next year’s city budget process, which kicks off in February when departments submit proposed budgets to the Mayor’s Office.Animal Care and ControlBay Area NewsSan FranciscoScott Wiener

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

(Examiner file photo)
Charter amendment effort would replace elected school board with appointed body

Critics of the San Francisco Unified School District board on Monday formally… Continue reading

Jill Bonny, owner of Studio Kazoku tattoo parlor in the Haight, tattoos client Lam Vo on Friday, March 5, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
No one was fighting for tattoo artists, so they started advocating for themselves

Jill Bonny has been tattooing in the Bay Area since 2000. Four… Continue reading

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted changes to The City's streets including Slow Streets closures to increase open space access and the Shared Spaces program, which allows businesses to use public right-of-ways for dining, retail and services. (Examiner illustration)
COVID is reshaping the streets of San Francisco

Walk down Page Street, which is closed to thru-traffic, and you might… Continue reading

Stanford’s Ashten Prechtel shoots a layup as three Oregon State defenders look on during a Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament semifinal game on Friday, March 5, 2021, at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas. Bryan Steffy/Pac-12 Pool Photo
No. 4 Stanford women cruise to Pac-12 Tournament title

Kiana Williams is heating up just in time to head home. The… Continue reading

At a rally in February, Monthanus Ratanapakdee, left, and Eric Lawson remember Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai man who died after he was pushed to the pavement in San Francisco. (Ekevara Kitpowsong/Examiner file photo)
The criminal justice system can’t fix what’s wrong in our community

My 87-year-old mother walks gingerly, slowly, deliberately, one step in front of… Continue reading

Most Read