From July 2022 to December 2022, the city of Redlands made some marked changes to the animal shelter on Kansas Street.
Improvements to the shelter were underway before the San Bernardino County grand jury issued its report in December. At the March 7 City Council meeting, assistant city manager presented an update prior to the city issuing the response.
Mayor Pro Tem Paul Barich thought “it was kind of unfair we were turned over to the grand jury.” He admitted that “we need some improvements, but that’s kind of radical.”
Moving the shelter to the jurisdiction of Facilities and Community Services was the first step in alleviating the problems that had plagued the animal shelter for years. Next, the shelter opened to the public for walk-ins, viewings and animal meet and greets. Contracting daily cleaning and sanitation services out has allowed the staff the time to work with the animals and public, and hiring more staff, including a new supervisor, two new animal control officers, two new kennel attendants and a new administrative assistant has gone a long way to making the shelter run smoothly.
After reintroducing the volunteer program, staff and volunteers were able to increase social media presence, which “has been a really critical element,” according to Chris Boatman, assistant city manager.
Staff and volunteers have also been able to increase social activities and adoption events, such as Pups and Trucks, Redlands Dog Jog, Pups-A-Palooza and, most recently, Downtown’s Morning Market.
In addition to the personnel improvements, the facility itself has seen significant progress. In the last nine months, especially from July to December, improvements to the buildings include painting, concrete replacement, landscaping, mist repair system, new shade sails, repairs to the drain system, repairs to kennels and repairs to the heater system.
The next few months will see renovations to the existing feline isolation and wild rooms to create all new cattery, which is expected to be done by April, renovation of existing cattery into isolation room, developing a master plan for the site and facility and recruiting and training additional volunteers.
Councilwoman Jenna Guzman-Lowery was pleased to hear of the changes.
“Whatever is an improvement for the animals, I think is fantastic,” she said. “So regardless of the reason for why these improvements happened, I’m grateful to them.”
Money for improvements came from Measure T, which added a one cent to each dollar spent.