Vallejo Happily Falls to Third Place

Stephanie Gomes — President, Board of Directors — Humane Society of the North Bay

Vallejo is not in first place anymore – and it’s wonderful news!

For many years, Vallejo was in the unenviable top spot of sending the highest number of homeless animals to the Solano County shelter. This year, for the first time, we’ve dropped our numbers below the two other largest cities in the County.

This time last year, the City of Vallejo, Solano County and the Humane Society of the North Bay (HSNB) started on this journey to create a new model and a new public-private partnership in Solano County – and the numbers show it’s working.

While this is great financial news for the City (it costs $249 per animal that is sent to the County shelter), these extraordinary adoption and “return to owner” rates have outpaced the revenues HSNB has to care for this many animals. In addition, our aging facility and equipment and the ever-rising cost of utilities continue to create financial challenges that could ultimately affect the ability of the shelter to stay open.

When HSNB’s Board of Directors almost completely turned over in 2014, we were left with no records of real numbers from the past to help us project into the future. The City didn’t even have the data from past years. Now we have real numbers. And while we’ve proven how successful we can be, we have also proven that it costs a lot of money to run a shelter that saves the lives of so many animals. And unfortunately, as a private, non-profit shelter not supported by the state or national organizations, our income is not matching our expenses.

So its time for our community to gather for an open discussion of Vallejo’s pet overpopulation problem and the rising costs of caring for our community’s homeless animals. We want to start a dialogue about how we can continue to build on this newly created success — and how we can afford to do so.

We are inviting the public to a “town hall” meeting on Monday, November 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the Joseph Room in the JFK Library. HSNB will provide a presentation about what our organization is (and isn’t), the services we provide to the community, and the costs of doing business. Solano County Sheriff Animal Control will be presenting information on their work, as well as the City of Vallejo, which is at the intersection of our collective efforts. The community will also have an opportunity to ask questions about this important life-saving work we are all doing.

I am confident that if we work together, we can fix HSNB’s side of this new model and continue to increase adoptions, reunite owners with their lost pets, promote more spaying and neutering to prevent more homeless pets – and save taxpayer dollars by doing so.

'Vallejo Happily Falls to Third Place' have 25 comments

  1. November 2, 2015 @ 8:40 am Ravi Shankar

    THAT is great news Vice-Mayor Gomes … we were looking for a different announcement from that great smiley picture of yours! We admire your work immensely and be glad to spread the word about tonight’s meeting at JFK.

    THANK YOU for inspiring many other animal lovers to show compassion and IMPROVE VALLEJO!


  2. November 2, 2015 @ 2:14 pm Charlie Malarkey

    I can’t make tonight’s meeting because I have a class. Also, I don’t know how practical this idea is, but perhaps one or more of the facilities could offer relatively lower-cost pet immunizations that would provide a reasonable return to the facility.


  3. November 3, 2015 @ 8:40 pm decentamerican

    After attending the largely well attended, intensely participated event at JFK last night, a few friends were all thinking of small additional fund raising ideas:

    * NATHAN’S, LEAF, GRIND, MOSCHETTI’s all donating a % of a day’s business to the shelter.
    * China Cafe, China Wok, Mo Mo’s, Good Day Cafe, Gracie’s, Sardeen Can, Zio Friedo’s, The Front Room, The Tap Room, Vic’s Wheelhouse, Panama Red … also chip in something similar
    * Each City Council Member matches what Councilmember Katy Miessner offered last night
    * Each City Department simply gathering their small part to donate money
    * Key Non-profits like GCS, CHC, Filipino Community Center, Fil-Am, NAACP, Odd Fellows, The Hub, Artizen, Mira Theater … joining them
    * VPD, VFD showing their compassion and generocity…
    * All Vallejo Schools and the School Board doing their part
    * Cal Maritime, Solano Commuity College & Touro University doing a larger student-faculty donation
    * Veterans and Seniors of Vallejo doing their part over the holidays…
    * Kaiser and Sutter-Solano having a large donation box in their campus
    * Goodwill, Salvation Army, Vallejo Chamber of Commerce, Visitor’s Bureau…
    * Six Flags, Mariott, and other leading lodges…
    * A donation box at the Farmer’s Market and the Ferry Ticket Office, Mare Island Golf Course and Wine Tasting Room.
    * Community Gardens of Vallejo (VPG, SVCG, KTCG, LomaVistaFarm,…)
    * All major Churches, Temples, Mosques, Synagogues …
    * Other Pet/Veterinary Care Centers…
    * Leading Restaurants like Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Chevy’s,
    * Local friendly Bars…..

    Please help come up with ideas we can send to the Fund Raising Team of Animal Shelter — and some of us can actually take that message to above places for help… EVERYTHING WILL HELP.

    Thank you VIB and T-H and all the volunteers. Any big names missed ?


    • November 3, 2015 @ 8:49 pm Anon

      VFD could put on an abalone feed…..oh, sorry, my bad. The HSNB couldn’t take that donation. Oh well? Have they reached out to Jon Riley yet? He has done some pretty good work for MIRA so far.


      • November 4, 2015 @ 9:29 am Ravi Shankar

        That’s a good suggestion ANON.
        I will reachout to Jon today….


    • November 4, 2015 @ 11:30 am The one who knows

      Maybe, just maybe, HSNB could figure out why their budget for the Shelter Operations more than DOUBLED since Stephanie took over? How do you go from have budgeted expenses of less that $500K WITH Animal Control Services to a one that is $600K WITHOUT Animal Control Services?

      The whole purpose of this presentation was for Stephanie to get some “grass root” support to go and ask the city for more money, because apparently, the $133K they are receiving now just isn’t enough to pay the salaries of SIX employees. She claims she is providing “transparency”, but did she make the detailed budget available last night? I ask, because it’s not available online.


      • November 9, 2015 @ 4:38 pm Me

        The budget has gone because … the last group was doing a dismal job. Just ask all the dead cats sent to FF.


      • November 11, 2015 @ 12:25 pm John_K

        I doubt the thing can operate without paid employees. Would you think maybe they should hire a book keeper to create detailed financial records? I don’t know about previous budgets versus results, but In the past 2 years the number of animals going to Fairfield has been cut in half, from a high of 2,700 reduced to 1,500. Maybe I’m missing something important here, but that has to be worth a lot to taxpayers.

        Did you go to the meeting? There was a printed handout showing expenses, including payroll, medical, pet food, medical, fundraising, building, rent & other overhead expenses. And revenue sources, including total income from adoptions, fundraising, and City of Vallejo. Of course there is no CAFR, but the basic info was made public.


  4. November 4, 2015 @ 8:58 pm Anon

    “* Veterans and Seniors of Vallejo doing their part over the holidays…”

    Exactly what “part” do the Seniors and Veterans need to do “over the holidays”? Do you ever engage your brain before opening your pie hole?


    • November 7, 2015 @ 6:54 pm decentamerican

      … means, any small donation of pet care items or cash, if they are unable to give an hour or two of their time to help in any way at the shelter…

      by using needless foul language, ANON demonstrated where his/her ‘pie brain’ is! there was no need for this ungraceful comment when all other statements have been fair in communicating/inquiring the affairs of HSNB.


      • November 8, 2015 @ 9:26 am anon

        Sincere apology for the ungraceful comment. However, sentiment is still there re; “engaging your brain”. As a whole, by-and-large, Seniors and Veterans have given plenty over the years and if they choose not to contribute in anyway to HSBN they have still done “their part”.


  5. November 5, 2015 @ 8:54 am curious

    @the one who knows, it sounds like the only thing you know is how to be nasty and start rumors. if you are really interested in transparency, not gossip and innuendo, then ask Stephanie or the HSNB for their budget, not the readers of a website.


    • November 7, 2015 @ 4:50 pm Anon

      According to the many posters here, this website is the center of transparency. If Gomes really gave a rats a$$ about transparency a printed operating budget would be available. If your going to beg for money you need to show where your current income is going


    • November 8, 2015 @ 12:36 pm John_K

      Did previous administrations have any transparency or accountability? One of our neighbors was asking what happened to the inheritance that went to the Humane Society. Anyone recollect?


      • November 8, 2015 @ 2:35 pm Anon

        Did the previous administration beg for more money while complaining what they get just is not enough?


        • silasbarnabe

          November 8, 2015 @ 3:47 pm silasbarnabe

          Did the previous administration enjoy a rent of $1 a year from their corrupt cronies? A good time for Willson to bail and take a new paid position screwing up the Florence Douglas Senior Center….


      • November 9, 2015 @ 3:14 pm The one who knows

        The Estate? You mean the Estate that is represented by Council Member Robert McConnell? The Estate that Robert has drug his feet on for over 5 years, allowing himself to continue to collect Trustee fees? That Estate? 😉

        They continue to pay for the care and feeding of the Estate cats.

        Is it a coincidence that Stephanie took over a non profit that will receive over $1Mil from the Estate that is administered by her Council Member friend? And now that non profit is spending money twice as fast as it did before she came along? Nah, nothing wrong with that.


        • silasbarnabe

          November 9, 2015 @ 5:44 pm silasbarnabe

          LOL! Are you Mikey Wilson….


          • November 12, 2015 @ 10:48 am The one who knows

            Sorry Silas, not Michael, nor Peter.

            Do you have any thoughts about the coincidental nature of Stephanie stepping in to be President of a non-profit 6 months after leaving council, and Robert charging his Trustee fees for this estate for over 5 years. This delay has allowed Stephanie to become President with the ability to direct the funds at her discretion once he does settle it?

            You all scream “Good Ole Boys” – This is a prime example by the “Progressives”. Complain about transparency until you’re in charge. Stephani cut a sweetheart deal with the Dan Keen to abandon the Animal Control operations and still receive $133K from the City for “sheltering”. And she still managed to double operation costs, even though they no longer provide Animal Control services. Nothing fishy there.

            If you can’t see that she is setting that place up to fail and transfer the Estate proceeds to another animal organization, then get your eyes checked.

        • November 11, 2015 @ 9:04 am John_K

          Wow. It reads like you have some knowledge of this topic. Can you give some info of the time line and feet dragging?

          According to the article, the funds were to go to provide for Emerson’s 10 cats, and to fund the humane society’s cat adoption program. How much went to the humane society for the cat adoption program? And when?


    • November 9, 2015 @ 3:07 pm The one who knows

      Nothing I said is incorrect, and the “nastiness” is a direct result of previous dealings with Stephanie.

      Stephanie was the one who constantly asked the Board and Shelter employees for a budget while she was on Council, and said that the lack of a publicly available budget was an example of the Board failing to provide “transparency”. Stephanie wants a personal request so she knows who is in possession of the info so that she can attack them. But I’m the problem?


  6. November 9, 2015 @ 6:55 pm Anon

    Stephanie’s Town Hall meeting, sans printed financial information was the very definition of duplicity. A perfect match for her hubby.


  7. November 11, 2015 @ 10:58 am John_K

    What info do you want? For those of you who were not at the meeting, the basic budget info was given given out in the Joseph Room on November 2nd. With the printed handout, we received a slide presentation showing expenses, including payroll, medical, pet food, medical, fundraising, building, rent & other overhead expenses. And revenue sources, including total income from adoptions, fundraising, and City of Vallejo. Of course there is no CAFR, but the basic info was made public.


    • November 12, 2015 @ 10:36 am The one who knows

      John_K – I didn’t get the handout with all of that information. Was it available? Or was it only on those slides? The info is not on the website. Do you have a brief synopsis? I don’t remember an acknowledgement or explanation for why expenses doubled. It certainly wasn’t for salaries.


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