Yolo SPCA, Animal Services part ways; partnership will take new form

For decades, Yolo SPCA staff have worked alongside those at a Woodland shelter to provide services aimed at helping animals.

Starting today, this partnership will change and these responsibilities will shift to solely county staff.

Specifically, the Yolo SPCA is closing its office within the Yolo County Animal Services shelter “in detriment to animals and county residents,” according to Tracey Louper, who has been involved with the shelter on and off for 30 years.

Louper posted on her Facebook page, highlighting efforts by SPCA staff to provide better care to the animals who find themselves in the shelter off East Gibson Road. The partnership has reduced the euthanasia rate enough to qualify the shelter as a “no kill facility,” she stated.

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Yolo SPCA staff also help train volunteers and often interact with potential adopters, she explained.

“If you have been to the shelter to look for a new family member you have likely interacted with a volunteer trained by the SPCA,” Louper posted last Friday.

“As of July 1st, 2018, YCAS staff is to take over the above duties and others that have heretofore been provided by SPCA employees,” she continued. “So taxpayers will now be paying for what they used to get for free. That is, if the overworked YCAS staff has the time or knowledge to do so.

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“I do not cast aspersions on YCAS staff, theirs is a physically and emotionally exhausting job, but I know the shelter is chronically underfunded and its staff overworked,” Louper clarified. “Something will have to give and it is likely be to the detriment of the animals.”

What prompted this change remains a mystery to Louper and others.

“I do not know what caused the breach between YCAS and SPCA,” she writes. “It seems to me that 30 years of partnering should allow for the working out of any difficulty.”

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Asked to comment, Yolo SPCA Executive Director Kimberly Kinnee stated “we are proud of the programs we have implemented and managed and the level of commitment we have offered for so many years at the shelter, all of which has been made possible through generous donations and the support of the community.”

Kinnee explained that her agency will be focused on other programs to assist the community and animals in need.

“Yolo County SPCA and Yolo County Animal Services will continue to work together to make a difference in the lives of animals in need in our community,” she stated. “We also hope to operate community cat clinics at the spay/neuter clinic at the shelter as we’ve done for the past few years.”

Kinnee’s forward-looking statement doesn’t explain the reasoning behind the change in partnership.