Photos courtesy of the Peninsula Humane Society
Photo of Wishbone and Bella
Why is East Palo Alto the exception to the rule?
The Peninsula Humane Society, which provides animal control services for East Palo Alto and all other cities in San Mateo County, recently met with a group of city representatives to explain our work and answer questions.
Several city representatives asked why we visit their city so often; they were concerned since more contacts means a higher animal control services bill, as assigned to them by the county. It was a simple question to answer: We visit as often as we are called. Generally, cities with more residents have more pets and more pets leads to more calls for things like stray animals, animal attacks, surrendered animals, injured and dead animals.
The City of San Mateo, for example, has the second largest human population of all cities in San Mateo County and was the largest source of animals and had the greatest number of field services activities in 2012. Colma, by comparison, ranked last in residents and last in terms of calls for service and last as a source for incoming animals which reach our shelter.
East Palo Alto was the exception to this general rule of “more residents equal more calls.” East Palo Alto ranks 12th of 20 cities in human population, yet was the fifth largest source of animals reaching our shelter and the fifth largest source of calls for our services in the community.
Why is this? The numbers clearly show that local residents, far too often, allow their dogs to roam off leash. This leads to calls for stray dogs, calls for injured dogs, calls for dead dogs. The numbers also tell us that people either don’t have funds to get pets fixed, don’t know about our free spay/neuter program or that they purposefully breed their dogs with hopes of making money. In all cases, more animals from East Palo Alto end up at our shelter.
While Peninsula Humane Society has no control over how much East Palo Alto pays for animal control services, we care deeply about helping animals, helping people who care for animals and educating resident about the humane treatment of animals. This goes for every community!
Our programs and education efforts help us fulfill our mission, and can help the city control its animal control expense. Please keep this information below as a guide:
Scott Delucchi, the author of this article, is the senior vice president of community relations for the Peninsula Humane Society. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org