Dueling accounts of shelter puzzling

Am I the only Alameda resident who is confused about the condition of the animal shelter?

On one hand, we have volunteers singing the praises of the care and compassion displayed by staff daily and of all the good work going on there. On the other hand, some volunteers have accused the staff of poor care and downright neglect. Some even name names.

Now which is it? If the shelter is to thrive, this present situation must stop. I suggest some management consultant in the community step up and volunteer some time to help iron this out.

Anne Spanier

Shelter unnecessarily euthanized animals

I am concerned that needless euthanasia of healthy animals might be still taking place at our shelter.

Before FAAS took over, the shelter was operated by the city, and the practice of putting down animals for minor behavioral problems was not uncommon. I was close to the shelter then. A few months before the transition, I advocated for a dog scheduled for euthanasia at the shelter. Apparently, she failed the testing and lost her life.

This was also the time of the vigorous campaign of FAAS to save the shelter. FAAS was already present at the shelter when unnecessary euthanasia was taking place.


Advertisement

I reached out to them for support, believing they could help stop this practice, but was told they were only raising funds. I thought they could have also raised their voice against some unfair practices of the old management.

Now the shelter is in their hands, and it hurts me to hear the recent revelations of volunteers that despite some improvements at the shelter, they might have generally kept the status quo. In their mission statement, FAAS declared that they protect animals against cruelty, but I am concerned about the response of the shelter operators to the criticism that euthanasia can be "compassionate or humane."

The shelter needs to look even harder for more alternatives -- such as aggressively looking for a wide variety of rescue groups, some of which don't totally rely on extreme behavioral testing.

All residents of our shelter are wonderful, adoptable animals and they deserve to have an equal chance to live. Value of animal life should be a priority, not old business practice.

Kristina Ivanova

Just a disgruntled few are defaming FAAS

I want to add my voice to the many supporters of FAAS. I am utterly dismayed that our shelter seems to be under attack by some disgruntled people. I have no idea why they feel the need to do this, but I do know that they are doing a great disservice to the neglected and abandoned animals of our community.

I think the citizens of Alameda should be so grateful that enough caring, animal-loving people put in the effort to make FAAS a reality. It would have been utterly disastrous if the shelter had been outsourced by the police department.

The staff at FAAS are totally dedicated to the welfare of the animals.

I have witnessed this firsthand as a volunteer. The animals receive the best of care even in an antiquated facility. The volunteers are a dedicated group, too, and our only goal is to better the lives of these animals. Every adoption is cheered and gives a feeling of satisfaction that drives us on to continue our efforts to work toward that goal for all the animals in the shelter.

The shelter needs the full support of our community, and to that end I urge the citizens to ignore this totally undeserved attack by a few and concentrate instead on the many letters written in support of the shelter.

I, for one, will continue to give my full support as a volunteer and financially to the only hope our shelter animals have to be adopted into a caring, loving home.

Mia Raaphorst Wijsen

Don't forget to turn on your cars' lights in dark

Awful rain is here, and so are the awfully stupid drivers. I refer to those driving with the lights out in the bad weather. State law requires head and taillights be on -- not just the really cool European driving lights -- in foul weather. I sure wish the local police would make that a priority item, for the next rainy day.

Lights are also required in the tunnels we in Alameda call the Tubes. Something is needed to wake these people up to safer driving. A traffic citation might just do the trick.

Richard Neveln

Thanks to all those who helped food bank event

The Alameda Food Bank's Annual Turkey Distribution on Nov. 26 was a smashing success. The food bank was able to distribute turkeys, fresh produce and stuffing to more than 435 needy Alamedans.

Due to the overwhelming generosity of our community, more than 800 turkeys were donated to the event, in addition to vegetables and nonperishable items. The food bank will therefore continue to give turkeys to needy families for holiday celebrations through the end of December.

Needy Alamedans drove, took busses, walked and rode bicycles to get to the food bank warehouse at Alameda Point in order to be able to prepare a better Thanksgiving meal for their families this year. Volunteers were able to help Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin and Spanish speakers as well as people with mild to significant disabilities. The warm weather helped neighbors chat and sing together as they stood in the long line while volunteers worked as quickly as they could to provide needed supplies.

The turkey distribution is truly a community event. Many thanks go to the Alameda Fire Department, which volunteered the entire day and brought a generous donation of Peet's coffee for clients; volunteer groups from Wind River and Clif Bar; Bowzer's Pizza, which generously supplied 15 pizzas for volunteers; and many other individuals who helped. Students from NEA school had supplied hand-decorated bags for participants.

Frozen turkeys and financial donations were generously given by the Bank of Alameda/Bank of Marin, Habana's and Linguini's restaurants, Indian Princesses, the Italian American League, Edison and many other local schools and hundreds of members of the communities. We have lots of photos on our Facebook page. Visit www.facebook.com/alamedafoodbank.

Troy Gilbert

executive director Alameda Food Bank

City's Boys & Girls Club grateful for assistance

The board, staff and especially the youth at Alameda Boys & Girls Club extend a big thank-you to everyone who helped make our 2013 Kids Nite Out (KNO) on Nov. 15 a most inspiring, fun and memorable evening. Many appreciations to the 100 adults who buddied with 100 of our club kids and competed as two-person teams in a range of games and activities. They enjoyed a delicious meal, took buddy photos, and won awards.

A big shout-out goes to the KNO Committee: Co-Chairs Dave McCarver and Tim Marr, Marty Garchar, Jeff Sherratt, Al Wright, Joe Sherratt and Bill Dal Porto; and to our many volunteers. Kudos to Coach Brad Thomas and the Alameda High School girls basketball team.

And a special thanks goes to our generous partners, who helped fund the event -- Presenting Sponsor: GoDaddy. Mentoring Sponsor: Big Rick Foundation. Leadership Sponsors: Alameda Police Manager & Alameda Police Officers Associations and Rich Sherratt. Keystone sponsors: Aerotek, Alameda Advertising and Recognition, Bill Dal Porto, Gunderson Direct, Inc., Harbor Bay Realty, JSternburg Productions, La Val's Pizza and RainTree Studios. Torch sponsors: Brown & Sullivan, LLP; Steve Cressy (Harbor Bay Realty); Joe Restagno & Jordona Elderts; John Jameson Construction; Linda & Dennis Kolowich; Scott MacAskill Insurance Services; Tim Marr (Harbor Bay Realty); McGee's; Neptune Beach Pearl and Peter Holmes, Sterling Mortgage.

Jeff Miller

chief professional officer Alameda Boys & Girls Club

Perforce fundraiser helped groups a lot

On behalf of the residents and staff of the Alameda Point Collaborative, we would like to thank Perforce Software and the Perforce Foundation for generously sponsoring Breakfast for Dinner, a short stack for a tall cause. A sellout event, Breakfast for Dinner showed what makes Alameda so special.

Perforce has shown a commitment to the health and happiness of the local community through its sponsorship of the The Little Ice Rink and support of organizations working to create better futures for families. Breakfast for Dinner was conceived by a group of Perforce employees who, despite all that the company already does, knew that they could leverage their talent and resources to do even more.

It was more than just another fundraiser; it was an opportunity for families to come together in the spirit of community and philanthropy over an excellent meal. We were truly gratified by the creativity and dedication of the Perforce staff that organized the event.

The two organizations that benefited from the event -- Alameda Point Collaborative and the East Oakland Boxing Association -- share a dedication to creating healthy lives for young people who have been challenged by homelessness, violence and/or poverty. We were humbled by the number of people who attended, and the outpouring of concern and support expressed on behalf of the families serving.

From our family to ours, thank you very much.

Paula Swanson

chair, board of directors Alameda Point Collaborative