Audit Slams Palo Alto Animal Shelter for Being “Unsafe And Outdated”

A Peninsula animal shelter is being called unsafe and outdated.

A new independent audit of the Palo Alto Animal Shelter is calling on the city to invest more money or hand the responsibility over to a private non-profit organization.

The shelter opened in the seventies and doesn’t have much room.

Currently, there are birds living next to the employee break room.

Staff at the animal shelter work very closely with Fluffy, a snake that lives in an office at the shelter because there’s no room for it anywhere else.

Staff at the shelter weren't allowed to speak on camera but say the audit of the department didn’t come as a surprise.

According to the independent report, ”the facilities are outdated and inadequate and the city has not successfully completed projects to refurbish the shelter over the years.”

It also points outs that the shelter is losing $900,000 a year.  “The council identified wanting to meet cost recovery goals in operating the shelter. Unfortunately we’ve been unable to meet those, we’ve gone in the wrong direction,” said Palo Alto City Manager James Keene.

Keene says the city plans to transition the shelter from city control to a non-profit organization as a money saving strategy.

“There are very few public shelters that work as effectively as a non for profit, a lot of that has to do with the non for profit organizations to do fund raising,” he said.

And while city leaders look for an organization to take control, the animals will be waiting for a home in what the audit describes as cramped kennels, with sharp and dangerous edges.

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