Petaluma, CA

Petaluma is a city of about 58,000 people in Sonoma County, California. On August 1, 2012, a non-profit named Petaluma Animal Services Foundation (PASF) took over management of the city’s municipal shelter. The city had allowed PASF to bid on the contract because it wanted to cut the cost of animal control. In an article that appeared in a Petaluma newspaper last August, a reporter noted that PASF was able to provide more effective services at less cost than the city administration, in large part because two-thirds of its budget comes from donations, fees, and grants. This funding allows PASF to pay for veterinary services.

PASF takes in strays and owner surrenders from the city. They have a barn cat program and offer low-cost spay and neuter. PASF has drastically cut the average length of stay since taking over from the city, and increased the number of foster homes. PASF hired most of the city employees who had worked at the shelter before it took over, but it replaced the previous shelter director with Jeff Charter, who was director of animal control under the city administration.

In November of 2012, PASF reported that it had been running at a 94% live release rate from the date of the takeover. The shelter director recently sent me their Asilomar Accords form with statistics for 2013: Petaluma 2013 Asilomar Form

The report shows a live release rate for calendar year 2013 of 97%. If owner-requested euthanasias and animals who died or were lost in shelter care are included with euthanasias, the live release rate was 94%. Total intake was 1300 cats and dogs.