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Meeting Information Archive Center >> Commission of Animal Control and Welfare >> 2008 back to Commission of Animal Control and Welfare home page

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 5:35 PM 1. Call to order and Roll Call Present, Commissioners: Laurie Kennedy-Routhier, Mara Weiss DVM, Christine Garcia, Andrea Brooks, Sally Stephens, Philip Gerrie, Pam Hemphill, Vicki Guldbech – ACC Absent, commissioners: William Herndon – SF Police, Bob Palacio – SF Rec & Park 2. Public comment Richard Fong – Concern about light brown apple moth control using pheromone. Karen Snook – IDA – Concern over animals being killed and starved in the name of art. SF Art Institute showed art video installation of animal cruelty. SFIA cancelled show due to death threats to staff, not due to subject of video. IDA strongly opposes showing animal cruelty and calling it art. Christine Barnett – Reads letter by artist, Allen Banburger. Video shows animals being bludgeoned by sledgehammer. Unanswered questions as to how quick were deaths. Mark Ennis – Aware of snuff film as art. Killings filmed in Mexico. Artist is French. Encourages Commission to hold hearings about showing this type of animal abuse in SF. Exhibit called “Don’t trust me”. Nana DeLeon – Reads statement from Diana Thater, California artist. SFIA did not foresee exhibits’ condemnation of killing animals in the name of art. Laura Hoover – Continues to read statement from Diana Thater. Any statement of using animal cruelty to make a statement on animal cruelty or other ethical questions is perverse. Work is described as a representation of animal abuse. Video is real. Video is not art. It is a document of executions of animals. Artist profits from sale of videos. Dr. Elliot Katz – IDA – Reads statement from SPCA president Jan McHugh condemning art exhibit at SFAI. Urges immediate withdrawal of exhibit and sponsorship. No art is worth the suffering and death of animals. Dr Katz urges Commission to hold hearings inviting SFAI to explain and lead to possible recommendation of policy to Board of Supervisors against killing of animals for art. SFAI is partially funded by SF Hotel tax so is accountable. Scott Shapley – Continues reading from Diana Thater. Art is representation of image or thought. Animal execution is real not art. 3. Approval of Draft Minutes from February 29, 2008 and March 13, 2008 Meetings Minutes for both meetings unanimously approved with minor corrections. 4. Chairperson’s report and opening remarks Comr. Stephens – Three Commission positions will be open next month. Comr. Routhier - Commission seat expires April 30. Will continue to serve until filled. Rules Committee meets first and third Thursday. Recommended hearing date would be May 15th. Application available at ACWC website. Application must be in a week prior to hearing. Two seats are to be filled by the public with animal welfare concerns. One seat must be filled by a licensed veterinarian practicing in SF. 5. Committee Reports/Commissioner’s Reports None. 6. Status and tracking of letters of recommendation requesting action by Board of Supervisors A) Update on status of letter urging hearings about animal welfare at the SF Zoo. Comr. Brooks – Working with Supervisor Mirkarimi’s office. Hope for hearings in May but not definite. Budget is current focus of Supervisors.

6A Public comment

Deniz Bolbol – Thanks Commission for efforts. Supervisors will take it up soon. Hopeful for zoo animals. Mark Ennis – Thanks Commission for their speed and efforts . Karen Snook – IDA – Thanks Commission. Jamie Ray – ROMP – Appreciates Commission’s work. Doesn’t think wildlife rehab center would work at the zoo. Christine Barnett – New attender to ACWC meetings. Encouraged to come in the future due to actions of Commission. Dr. Elliot Katz – Thanks Commission for making animal welfare a top priority at zoo.

7 Old business

None 8. New Business 8A Discussion to support a proposal, with a letter, from PUC to found a wildlife care and nature facility at Lake Merced. Invited speakers: Suzanne Gautier from PUC and Jamie Ray from ROMP. Suzanne Gautier – No plans currently for Lake Merced. Currently taking public input for future uses of the lake. Working with Lake Merced Taskforce. Until now, Lake Merced has not had a cohesive plan for its public uses. Appreciates ACWC’s efforts but there is no current proposal from PUC to support. Next public meeting April 22. Currently in phase 2 of process, public input. PUC not responsible for building a wildlife center. Unsure of how PUC would work with non-profit because no current relationship exists. Comr. Hemphill – How would the proposal for aquatic center, sponsored by SF State, be built? Suzanne Gautier – Possible land owner leasing arrangement between Rec & Park and SF State. Comr. Garcia – How does the PUC make decisions? What is the relationship between the PUC and Board of Supervisors? Suzanne Gautier – PUC is a decision making body that gathers public input to make informed decisions. Board of Supervisors approves budget for PUC as well as other departments. PUC far from the decision making part of Lake Merced master plan. Comr. Gerrie – What is your department’s relationship with the Rod & Gun club? Suzanne Gautier – The club leases the land from Rec & Park who is the land manager around lake Merced. Jamie Ray – ROMP Presents resolution to Commission that would state Supervisor support for a wildlife hospital in SF . Resolution expresses a clear need for local wildlife care facility. Combining a nature education center with a wildlife care facility would bring a lot of public interest and increase the education level quantumly. Public would have opportunity to learn about wildlife up close. Comr. Brooks- How many animals would be taken in every year? Jamie Ray – About a thousand to fifteen hundred. Comr. Gerrie – Supervisors are concerned about possible cost on what they support. Do you have any estimate of what your proposal would cost? Jamie Ray – It is premature to estimate costs as so much is not certain. It is too early to tell. Comr. Hemphill – Some background about the current lease holder, the Rod & Gun Club. It has been at its current site since 1934. It has about 300 members. They used to shoot lead bullets into the lake but now only use steel. They shoot clay skeets on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays Jamie Ray – Doesn’t want to make the wildlife hospital an anti-gun issue. Rather the best use of the land. The hospital would take a very small amount of land. Founded ROMP, Rescue Orphan Mammal Program, the only wildlife care program in SF. Has about 40 volunteers on staff at any one time. Much of the care for younger animals is in volunteers homes and would continue to be when a wildlife hospital is established. Comr. Stephens – Do you have a specific building plan? What existing buildings would you use? Would you build? Are you working with someone with experience in building such projects? Jamie Ray – One simple building with outside enclosures. There would be different wards for different animals. Outside enclosure would be for pre-conditioning for release. Working with architect who builds wildlife rehab enclosures and zoos. Hopes to get going by 2010. Comr. Stephens – Literacy for Environmental Justice wanted to build a nature center. It has taken them 8 years to break ground. Might want to talk with them to get a sense of what was involved in building on public ground. Jamie Ray – There are ways to fast track the permitting process by building green. The existing building will also make the process go quicker than at, say, Heron’s Head where one would start from scratch. Comr. Stephens – You haven’t prepared a budget for building and maintenance afterwards? Jamie Ray – We don’t have a building yet to make plans for. Comr. Routhier – When do you think the best timing would be to us to send a letter to the Supervisors supporting your endeavor? And the best time for the public to voice support? Jamie Ray – April 22 is the time for public input. Letter of support from Supervisors of intent & desire would also be helpful. There will be a second public input meeting in June. Comr. Gerrie – Not clear on how a resolution from Supervisors would help as PUC is seeking input from the public. Jamie Ray – Just the intent from ACWC to advise Supervisors, at this point, will be helpful.

8 A Public comment

Virginia Hanley – Animal Switchboard – Receives calls for wounded wildlife. Always a question of being able to drive down the peninsula or up to San Rafael for treatment. Support sending letter to Supervisors in support of wildlife rehab center. Mark Ennis – Rehab center shouldn’t be associated with fishing. Doesn’t support shooting range. Dr. Elliot Katz – Supports Commission passing resolution, supporting wildlife center, to Supervisors. IDA will donate $1000 when approved. Won’t cost the City anything. City needs a wildlife center. Richard Fong – Not against wildlife center. Asks if this will be a hostile takeover of Gun Club. No representative from Gun Club present. Wants more input from different factions.

8 A Commissioner discussion

Comr Stephens – Supports concept for wildlife rehab center but doesn’t support specific project. Several concerns. Aquatic center should not be a part of Commission recommendation. It is about recreation not animal welfare. Nature center should also be a separate issue. Uneasy about being asked, as a City entity, to endorse a specific private organization. Don’t know if Commission can endorse. Can’t take a vote until City attorney says voting is allowable. Doesn’t want to set precedent for other groups seeking Commission endorsement. Comr. Hemphill – ROMP is acting as a City organization. They are filling in a gap in services. Comr. Stephens – It is still a private organization. We also don’t have a clear proposal to endorse. Comr. Hemphill – We are at an early stage of public input. A wildlife and rehab center would be the use of that site. Comr. Routhier – We are being asked for our Commission’s endorsement to the Board of Supervisors. They might feel it is premature. We can just advise that this is an item that should be highly considered. I support it. Comr. Weiss – Supports general notion of a wildlife center but unfamiliar with details. Comr. Brooks – Supports project in general but not familiar with details. Hasn’t read through all information. Comr. Stephens – Encourages everyone to attend meeting April 22nd to see other proposals. Uncomfortable with voting on specific proposal while not knowing a lot. Comr. Hemphill – What else would you need to know? Comr. Stephens – No one from other interests have presented their side to this Commission tonight. Comr. Hemphill – City needs a wildlife center. This site looks good. Comr. Stephens – Not willing to say rehab center should be with a nature center. Not willing that it be at Lake Merced. Comr. Routhier – Do you want it considered for the Lake Merced plan? Comr. Stephens – Don’t know if our endorsement would help Jamie anymore than public support. PUC is autonomous . Supervisors don’t play a roll in their decisions. Comr. Guldbech – Supports Supervisors being asked to endorse. ACWC’s supports is an important voice for consideration. The details over the Rod & Gun club versus a wildlife center should not be considered here. Opportunity for ROMP to expand. Comr. Stephens – Doesn’t know if Lake Merced is the best place for it. Comr. Guldbech – Believes Lake Merced is the prefect place for it & there is no other place for it. Animals would benefit. Comr. Garcia – Commission has the right to recommend where animals habitat. If recreational activity effects animals, it is under Commission’s purview. We can make a recommendation. It is up to the recipient to value or disvalue our recommendation. Nothing precludes us from writing a letter. Comr. Routhier – Change wording in resolution to: “Be it resolved the Board of Supervisors support a wildlife care & nature education center initiative for consideration at Lake Merced.” Comr. Gerrie – Feels timing of resolution is not right. Feels premature. Would be more appropriate after April 22nd meeting. Comr. Hemphill – Feels time is right. Wants to move on this resolution. Comr. Stephens – Wants to know more from others about what is being considered for Lake Merced. Would prefer to wait until after April 22nd meeting. Comr. Hemphill – Moves to vote on sending amended letter of support. Comr. Routhier- Supports moving on this item to make it a top priority for PUC. Comr. Brooks – Swayed by Comr. Guldbech’s endorsement of Lake Merced being an ideal spot. Comr. Stephens – Wants to drop first paragraph of resolution having to do with how many species (33) in SF are endangered. Comr. Hemphill – Suggests changing it to “numerous” instead of “33”. Comr. Stephens – Strongest argument for wildlife rehab center is City doesn’t have one while neighboring counties do. Comr. Guldbech – Supports resolution as is. Was prepared by Jamie Ray who is an expert. We are not. Playing with the words may weaken it. Stands behind Jamie Ray 100%. Comr. Hemphill – Moves to send letter to board of Supervisors. All vote for sending letter except Comr. Stephens Comr. Stephens – Uncomfortable with including “nature center” with “wildlife rehab hospital” in letter. Comr. Guldbech – The two go hand in hand. Donor funded centers demand that something be given back as a place to take their kids. Comr. Hemphill – Agrees to make changes in language and deliver to Supervisors. 8 B Discussion/ possible action item to contact City officials to investigate whether Commission can get help with costs of Commission meetings (audio tapes, copies of agenda & minutes) Comr. Routhier – Spoke with Carl Friedman, he will work on it. Can be reimbursed for past expenses with receipts. Comr. Guldbech – Meetings can be recorded in MP-3 format. Eliminates need for tapes. Comr. Routhier – Should we ask Carl for funds for MP –3 external hard drive?

8 B Public comment

Dr. Elliot Katz – Offers to cover costs through IDA if Carl cannot do it. 9. Public Comment None.

10 Calendar Items

Comr. Stephens – Invited, in May, representatives from Dept of Food & Ag. to talk about effect of Apple moth spraying on animals. Invited members of groups opposed to spraying as well. Comr. Hemphill – Video available of Supervisors hearings recently held on spraying issue. 11. Task Allotment Already discussed. 12. Adjournment 7:50 PM Respectfully submitted by Philip Gerrie Commission Secretary

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