The Alameda police have given the city's Animal Shelter an "animal ambulance," a vehicle that the staff can now use to transport animals to medical appointments, adoptions and to other locations.
Police Chief Mike Noonan and Mayor Marie Gilmore handed over the keys of the vehicle to Nancy Bianchi and Mim Carlson of the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter during a brief ceremony on Wednesday.
"We are tremendously grateful to the city and the police department for this gift," Carlson said in a statement. "The ambulance is the perfect vehicle for us to use in our lifesaving efforts on behalf of Alameda's abandoned animals."
The donation of the ambulance follows the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter taking over the management of the facility on Fortmann Way in January under a deal worked out with the city.
Until then, the shelter was in danger of closing as city officials looked to save money.
News of the possible closure led to months of negotiations between city officials and shelter supporters, who feared that residents would be forced to travel off the Island to search for missing pets or to drop off strays if services were outsourced to another site.
The lease is in effect for 15 years and calls for the nonprofit group to be responsible for general maintenance at the shelter, while the city takes care of the building's roof, foundation and electrical system.
About 200 animals have been adopted under the new
While the police formally turned over the ambulance on Wednesday, shelter volunteers have already put it to use: The vehicle was part of their contingent in the Mayor's Fourth of July Parade, where they used it to showcase the shelter's services.
Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him at Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty.