As director of the Humboldt Spay/Neuter Network, I would like to commend the Eureka City Council for its wise decision to maintain the contract with the Humboldt County Animal Shelter. The city of Eureka does not have the facility or staff to operate its own animal shelter, and attempting to do so would be significantly more expensive than the contract with the county.
As evidence, I would point to the fact that in 2002, the county, which used to contract with Sequoia Humane Society for $20,000 a month, decided to build and run a shelter in order to save money. Constructing the shelter cost $4 million and the cost to run it is currently around $83,000 a month. Hardly a savings.
The city is mandated by state law to impound strays and dangerous animals, so they cannot simply ignore the problem. At this time, contracting with the county is the most cost-effective solution.
The real solution, of course, is to reduce the births of unwanted puppies and kittens, and several small, local rescue groups are working hard, with limited budgets, to do just this.
Jennifer Raymond, Ferndale