Saving the Shelter
Pa lo Alto
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COOK OFF & Summer Festival
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join a fledgling â€œSave Our Shelterâ€? Facebook group that Zimmerman launched shortly after the proposal to outsource animal services was made. He then created a petition imploring the city to keep the shelter running. The message spread quickly and as of last week there were more than 2,000 signatures and counting, he said. â€œItâ€™s incredible. I was going out and talking to people and nine times out of 10 they were completely up on this issue,â€? Stangel said. â€œEveryone knew about it, and they were very concerned about the issue.â€? Now, his group hopes to channel this energy into its fundraising efforts. All the donations that have been collected thus far will be kept by the Humane Society while the new Friends group completes the process of filing for nonprofit incorporation. The goal, he said, is to raise at least $100,000 in its first year and to set higher benchmarks in future years. The group has already scheduled its first fundraising dinner, which is set for June 19 at Gordon Biersch in downtown Palo Alto. Further down the line, it is eyeing events such as a 5K race in the Baylands and a gala dinner. â€œThe energy behind this effort is so high,â€? Stangel said. â€œWeâ€™re having people coming out and just asking how they can send money.â€? The group has already succeeded in changing the conversation at the council level, with both council committees agreeing that the shelter should not be shuttered. Now, Stangel hopes the group can raise enough money to compensate for Mountain Viewâ€™s departure and, in doing so, convince the council to keep the budget cuts for Animal Services to a minimum. The goal, he said, is to keep the city from adopting a â€œpermanent solutionâ€? â€” sweeping service reductions â€” for the â€œtemporary problemâ€? brought about by Mountain Viewâ€™s withdrawal. â€œIs it reasonable for us to ask the council to please run (animal services) at a greater deficit because weâ€™ll pick up the slack?â€? Stangel said at the conclusion of the Friends groupâ€™s first meeting. â€œOur group will help raise the money.â€? N Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be emailed at gsheyner@ paweekly.com. About the cover: Tom Rawson, a volunteer at Palo Alto Animal Services, greets Sadie, a pit-bull mix that was found as a stray. Rawson volunteers twice a week to help train and walk the dogs. Photo by Veronica Weber.
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Section 1 of the June 1, 2012 edition of the Palo Alto Weekly