Friends of Elk Grove Animal Shelter - Supporting Animal Services, Animal Shelter; How We Got Here

By June Lavine | March 14, 2017 |  

I first became aware of the animal population problem when the SSPCA notified the City that their contract would be terminated effective 12/31/2013.

Amid many comments directed to the City Council that the County Shelter was already operating at capacity, the Council went ahead and approved a Master Services Agreement with the County of Sacramento Animal Care and Regulation for sheltering services.

Barbara Doty, President and Founder of Lapcats Rescue, submitted firsthand knowledge of the overcrowding at the County Shelter.  Barbara saves as many cats as possible from euthanasia due to limited space at the County shelter.

Sharon Andrews, Dr. Kelly Byam and Tina Stinnett, President of Kitty Karma Refuge and Recovery Center have also addressed the council on several occasions campaigning for our animals.

In September and November of 2014, the City conducted community interest meetings regarding an Animal Shelter Needs Assessment Study.

Several models were presented along with pros and cons of each. Finally in January of 2015, the council approved model B, being a shelter operated by the City.  Possible locations, remodels, square footage was directed to staff for further studies.

April of 2015, I asked the City what the progress was so far and was told that “there was not a committee assigned to the project and that they were unsure if and when it would take place.”

Therein began my lengthy path to what I know now to be my mission along with my passion.

With the help and encouragement of many, I started a signed petition campaign to urge our leaders to find, build or remodel our own animal shelter in Elk Grove as approved by the council a year ago.

I could not have accomplished as much without the tireless efforts of many including Ray Bayles of Old Town Creations, Spring Youngman, Helen Bayha and Barbara Doty as well as Sharon Andrews who to my good fortune introduced me to Kevin Spease, which followed my meeting his wonderful wife, Angela.  They have both supported my mission and I value their friendship.

As well as signed petitions, was initiated and with both, over 1,400 signatures were presented to the City Council.

T-Shirts were made asking for support of an Animal Shelter aided by the expertise and contribution of Paula Maita, Inc.  Paula has been supporting our community for as many years as I can remember.

Opinion pieces to the editor of, a visit by Tony Lopez of Channel 13 and articles in the Sacramento Bee by Cathy Locke provided me with a call to meet with Mayor Davis.

A very productive meeting followed with what I hope to say was the definitive moment that Mayor Davis recognized that this inaction had been going on too long and would then direct staff to follow through with the proposed shelter.

Here we are, March of 2017 and the City has assured me by email that the project remains on track and is a high priority project with the City.  I am very happy to report that a presentation of the Animal Shelter design will be on April 3rd, at City Council Chamber, from 5:30-7 p.m.  Look for the formal announcement by the City in the coming days.

The shelter will be located at 10250 Iron Rock Way.  It is City owned property and ironically was the exact location for a shelter many years ago in the Master Plan.

Even though the shelter is not scheduled to open until Spring of 2019 (I’m hoping sooner), there is much we can do to help our animals through  adoption events , fostering, spay/neuter programs and also microchipping at no cost/ low cost supporting Elk Grove Animal Services.  Elk Grove Animal Services is operated by an absolutely wonderful staff who love and care for each and every animal. I am proud to say that their supervisor, Maureen McCann is a great friend and I look forward to years of our working together.

I recently received non-profit status, joined the Chamber and with the help of businesses and all persons who love animals, I foresee much needed fundraising now and in continuation, supporting our own ELK GROVE ANIMAL SHELTER.    

Without the financial assistance of wonderful friends and loved ones through GoFundMe, I would not have been able to solicit the legal expertise of our good friend and attorney, Matthew Scott.  Space does not allow me to name each and every one of you, but you most certainly know who you are.  I love you all.

With the help and assistance from my good friend and animal lover, Debbie DeMarco, a website will be developed soon. Updates on all of our successes will be posted there as well as on our Facebook page, FRIENDS OF ELK GROVE ANIMAL SHELTER.

June Lavine can be contacted at Junel1025@

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

We all have a soft spot for animals and a shelter devoted exclusively to Elk Grove critters sounds good on the surface. GoFundMe and t-shirts may have helped swing the deal, but at the end of the day, the annual operations and maintenance of the animal shelter will be dependent upon taxpayer support year in and year out.

If my recollection is correct, animal services used to be a part of the code enforcement department, but was then was placed under the Police Department umbrella. Happenstance? No, this shift opened up a revenue stream that was unavailable under code enforcement.

The open-ended CFD supplemental taxes assessed on all homes built in the past 10 years or so (and all future homes), will be paying for "police services", animals now included. Open-ended means the assessments can increase based on inflation cost increases, with no limits or cap. Old Yeller will soon no longer need the County facility, but besides the t-shirts and GoFundMe account, let's also acknowledge how our so-called leaders are great at spending taxpayer's money.

They say the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but in this case, the loudest bark got the treat and many will surely pat themselves on the back for this pork-barrel political coup.

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