The Silicon Valley Voice

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SVACA Adds Mountain View

Soon there will be more animals in the care of Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority.

Last November, the City of Mountain View voted 7-0 to give Palo Alto Animal Services a termination notice and start negotiations with SVACA, a joint powers authority. On May 8, Mountain View City Council, in a 6-1 vote, agreed to approve the JPA.

A joint powers authority essentially means that each city within the JPA operates collectively. “Contracts are there to make money and SVACA is not set up that way. Each city [in the agreement] works as a team,” said SVACA Executive Director Dan Soszynski.

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As part of joining the JPA, Mountain View has agreed to provide a new animal services vehicle for the animal control officer SVACA must hire to serve the city, and the city will also provide additional holding spaces so SVACA can accommodate the animals it will be receiving. “SVACA services are more affordable and we offer a true partnership,” said Soszynski.

SVACA is providing all of its services as a cost-cutting measure for the City of Mountain View. Because Mountain View will be joining a JPA, they will have more control over decisions affecting animal services than they had contracting through another organization.

Although the JPA won’t officially go into effect until November, preparation is already underway and SVACA hopes to have the animal annex completed in time. “It’s a public project so we have to go through the process but we hope it will be completed by winter. We expect to have plenty of space when [Mountain View’s animals] come in,” said Soszynski.

“[To get more partners in the JPA] was one of the goals the Board of Directors had,” said Soszynksi. “[But] they want to continue to take care of the animals we have the same way we’ve been able to.”

Over the past few months, SVACA has boasted an extremely high save rate for an open door organization, and it hopes to continue providing a high level of service to residents of Santa Clara as well as the other cities it serves. “We expect to have higher save rate [with the addition of Mountain View],” said Soszynski. “Our hope is that during the slower points in the year, we’ll stay above 90 percent.”

Soszynski continued, “We’re only adding one new member into the mix and accommodating Mountain View’s needs. Our staff is up to the task. We have over 150 volunteers – we just had a couple of orientations last weekend and will have a couple more before November. We feel really good about it.”

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