Oakland Animal Services Celebrates the New Year Marking Four Years of of Landmark Progress.
OAKLAND – The City of Oakland’s Oakland Animal Services (OAS), effective January 12, 2019, will implement more consistent hours for city residents looking for lost animals or seeking to add a four-legged member to their family. As the new year begins, OAS will continue to be open six days per week, with hours aligned more closely to other SF Bay Area shelters:
• Monday-Friday 3-6 p.m.
• Saturday/Sunday1-5 p.m.; *closed Wednesday
The new schedule is more in keeping with industry standards – another move marking the great progress the shelter has made toward becoming an industry leader in the past four years.
Oakland Animal Services became a standalone City of Oakland department in January 2015, and since then has made tremendous strides for the city’s homeless animals – and for the Oakland residents who care for them. Just a few years ago, the dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, and countless other animals who arrived at the shelter’s doors faced an uncertain future.
But now, as 2019 begins, Oakland Animal Services routinely rescues and saves the lives of more than 80 percent of the animals taken in – a 50 percent increase over the shelter’s “live release” rate just a few years ago.
Meanwhile, the number of dedicated volunteers who support the department and the animals in its care has doubled. The shelter boasts a volunteer program that is equivalent to thirteen full-time employees. Oakland Animal Services has also increased its number of adoption partners – organizations in California and beyond who have capacity to take in hard-to-place animals rescued by Oakland Animal Services – by nearly 40 percent. Animals with life-threatening conditions, such as puppies with parvovirus, can receive treatment through support from the nonprofit Friends of Oakland Animal Services (FOAS).
Additionally, FOAS funds key lifesaving programs, such as foster care for shelter animals, and a new, free spay/neuter program for Oakland residents. Oakland Animal Services has also made great strides in recruiting and hiring full-time staff dedicated to serving both the animals and humans who need its assistance.
Today, Friends of Oakland Animal Services has 35 full-time staff members, and since 2016, the shelter has employed a full- time veterinarian to provide critical medical attention to the thousands of animals arriving at its doors.
Oakland Animal Services Executive Director Rebecca Katz explained, “Oakland Animal Services continues to improve its public service to the community. With full-time animal care attendants to care for our furry and feathered residents, and public service representatives to assist both the animals and the humans who come through the doors, Oakland residents are beginning to recognize OAS as the safety net they have advocated for and deserve.”
As for New Year’s resolutions? Oakland Animal Services still recognizes tremendous need in Oakland and, budget permitting, aims to increase hours for public service in its next four years of progress. Animal lovers who wish to support the shelter’s ongoing work to improve the city’s services for its homeless animals can make a tax-deductible gift to Friends of Oakland Animal Services’ year-end campaign to raise $25K to support lifesaving medical care for homeless animals awaiting their a second chance in the new year.