As Director of Oakland Animal Services I want to welcome you to our new website. We are launching the site just as a new year is rolling in. This month also marks six months that I have been with OAS. The time has gone by so fast. We are welcoming a lot of great new changes to OAS and I am excited about the future.
For those reading this who have not yet been to our shelter I encourage you to visit. Long gone are the days when OAS was the local “pound.” In its place is a thriving shelter with many innovative programs. There are many outdoor areas where dogs romp daily and get to play in groups. Cats are taken out to socialize with each other and people in rooms full of toys, brushes, cat trees, and even a tv playing cat videos. Our trainer works with dogs who are fearful or shy in order to make them better candidates for adoption. We also work with many other agencies and groups to transfer animals from our shelter who may need a little more time or attention before they are ready for their new homes. The Friends of Oakland Animal Shelter provides funding that enables us to treat injury and illness in animals who would have been euthanized previously. And we are growing our partnerships with places like UC Davis, Pet Food Express, Noble Veterinary Clinic, and others all to find homes for the 6000 or so animals who come through our door each year. Come and visit and see our amazing rabbit volunteers working with the rabbits and ensuring they all get a bit of fresh air in our courtyard. We even have volunteers who come in exclusively to work with the rats we have in the shelter awaiting homes.
We look forward to continuing this work in the new year and continuing to improve the lives of the animals in our shelter. So many animals who come to OAS have been subject to horrible abuse or neglect and often this is the only place they have known a gentle word and a little kindness. These animals who daily come into our doors in unbelievable numbers rely on OAS to help them in their time of need. We are committed to each of these animals and do not take this responsibility lightly. Unfortunately we have to make difficult decisions every day when faced with animals who have completely lost their trust of humanity and have become aggressive. We look forward to a day when each and every animal who comes into our shelter will find a new home. But we cannot do this alone. We rely on the community to help us to change the culture of disposable animals. It is a challenge we face as a city.
I encourage each of you when looking for a new animal companion to adopt from a shelter, to encourage spaying and neutering of all animals, and to reject the notion of animals as a commodity to be bought and sold. I have high hopes for the future for Oakland’s animals and hope that you will join me in helping OAS to continue to improve.
For those who are interested, volunteer opportunities are plentiful at OAS. Just visit are volunteer section of the website to learn more. If you want to help provide for animals in need of medical care please look at the donations section of the website. And please continue to visit the website for updates on events and ways to help OAS in the future. Together we can make Oakland a “kindler, gentler” community for its animal residents.