More than 60 animals find homes after Rocklin shelter loses lease

Social media and a supportive community were credited with finding homes or alternative quarters for more than 60 animals within a matter of hours after the Rocklin Community Animal Shelter learned that it had lost is lease.

Shelter supervisor Wauneita Rau said Wednesday that area residents and rescue groups responded quickly to the announcement, and within about three hours, homes were found for 27 dogs, 33 cats, three guinea pigs and a rabbit.

“There was so much community support for these animals,” said Capt. Lon Milka, spokesman for the Rocklin Police Department.

The city’s Animal Control division contracted with the shelter, which had been run by a local veterinarian since 2012. The city budget includes $131,556 for shelter services.

Milka said the city was preparing to take over operation of the shelter and hire the seven staff members when negotiations between the city and the landlord of the Pacific Street building the shelter occupied broke down.

The city previously had not been a party to the lease. The sticking point, Milka said, was the landlord’s condition that at such time as the shelter ceased to use the building, the city would have to return the building to its original condition. Milka said city officials had no way of knowing what the previous condition was and were unwilling to take on that liability.

It became apparent this week, he said, that the shelter would have to close. With no alternative quarters, staff members had to scramble to relocate the animals. Milka said rescue groups, local residents and the Placer SPCA in Roseville came forward. Only one dog, which was waiting to be reclaimed by its owner, was transferred to the Placer County Animal Shelter in Auburn.

Milka said city officials are working on an agreement with the county shelter to handle Rocklin animals. He noted that it is a no-kill shelter, and it is about to break ground for a new building in Auburn.

Milka said the City Council has expressed support for a Rocklin animal shelter, but formal council approval will be required before pursuing acquisition of a building. Most employees of the Rocklin Community Animal Shelter worked part time, he said, and those interested will be considered for jobs with the city. Milka said it likely would take two years to find a site and ready a new shelter for operation.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.