east bay spca adopts animal friendly menu policy,
wins 'shelter of the month' award
Founded in 1874, the East Bay SPCA is one of the oldest animal welfare organizations in the U.S. and has a long history of saving lives in Northern California's East Bay region. Originally focused on the humane treatment of horses, mules and other draft animals, the nonprofit shelter which operates three facilities now centers its efforts on cats and dogs in the Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
Animal Place had the opportunity to meet with East Bay SPCA executive director, Allison Lindquist, this summer and talk 'food for thought'. Following our visit, the organization quickly adopted an animal friendly menu policy for its sponsored events! For this landmark policy adoption, we're delighted to recognize East Bay SPCA as our October 2014 'Shelter of the Month'. As a special treat, Cinnaholic, a decadent, all-vegan bakery in Berkeley, will be donating cinnamon buns to the entire staff!
Ms. Lindquist took a minute out of her busy schedule to reflect on the shelter, food choices, and the future.
Q: Before adopting an animal friendly menu policy in 2014, had East Bay ever thought about or discussed the idea? What helped you overcome these initial hesitations or reservations in 2014?
A: The idea of going vegetarian was raised several years ago and met with strong resistance from the staff at that time. This may have been due in part to more limited vegetarian options then. While we did not formally adopt a policy due to that push-back, we did try to engage in humane choices that met all needs.
As an organization we continue to grow and evolve at a rapid pace, and have reached a more sophisticated level of staffing that is more in tune with our mission and role.
Q: Was it a difficult decision to adopt this policy?
A: Not at all. The formal policy change in 2014 was met with overwhelming approval.
Q: Why do you feel it's important for shelters and rescue groups to adopt an animal friendly menu policy?
A: I do feel that such a policy reflects a "walking the talk" attitude. While we do not want to dictate personal choices, as an organization choosing to spend our money in such a way makes sense. This is not dissimilar from an expectation, although short of policy, of staff being responsible pet owners by having their dogs and cats spayed and neutered, and not breeding animals.
Q: What do you think an animal friendly menu policy communicates to the public?
A: Hopefully it communicates what we believe--that animal cruelty is not acceptable in our society, and we can all play a role to that end.
Q: What does the future hold for East Bay?
A: The East Bay SPCA looks forward to saving even more lives and providing more services to pets and their people. Our newly rebuilt AAHA-certified, full-service veterinary clinic offers affordable state-of-the-art veterinary services to any member of the general public who needs vet care for their pets. We hope to continue to eliminate animal cruelty and neglect in our communities through support, education and services.
Q: Any upcoming events in the works that will feature an animal friendly menu?
A: We have a significant VIP event in October, celebrating the completion of our $9 million renovation at our main facility in Oakland. We are excited to offer fantastic vegetarian food to our major donors, friends and staff.
Q: Anything else you'd like to comment on?
A: We are excited to see growing awareness of animal welfare issues and hope our education, behavior and training and veterinary outreach clinics will continue to help prevent cruelty to animals.
Brandy, You’re a Fine Girl
It’s been a long journey to a forever home for Brandy, a sweet, mellow, four-year-old hound mix available for adoption at the East Bay SPCA in Oakland. She arrived at the East Bay SPCA from Hawaii in February. A partnership with the Kauai Humane Society and Alaska Airlines allows travelers to accompany select dogs from Kauai to Oakland, bringing hound varieties less commonly seen in the Bay Area.
A routine medical evaluation revealed that Brandy suffered from intestinal parasites and chronic ear infections. She was immediately treated for parasites, but long-standing neglect had caused irreversible damage to both ear canals. The team at the East Bay SPCA’s Theodore B. Travers Family Veterinary Clinic worked with Brandy and decided that her prognosis was best with surgery. They performed ear canal ablation (removal), a complex surgery, on each ear. While she was recovering with her foster family, they discovered yet another issue that would require surgery - medial luxating patella (knee surgery).
Officially a member of the East Bay SPCA’s, “Club Second Chance,” eight months later, Brandy has fully recovered and is finally ready to be adopted to a family she can call her own. Her foster family reports that she acts like a puppy again. Shelter staff members who have become attached to Brandy over the course of her stay are confident that she’ll be a wonderful companion for a very lucky person or family. If you are interested in adopting Brandy, please visit the East Bay SPCA at 8323 Baldwin Street in Oakland or call (510) 569-0702.