Animal advocacy groups stay afloat in Tahoe |

Animal advocacy groups stay afloat in Tahoe

Susan Wood

Animal welfare agencies that work with the El Dorado County Animal Shelter appear as resilient as the homeless creatures they’re motivated to protect.

While the newly formed Animal Coalition of Tahoe struggles amid a budget depletion, the Lake Tahoe Humane Society will continue its core services following the $300,000 sale of its Magua Street building in Meyers.

The Society’s 3,200-square-foot structure went up for sale a little over a year ago when diminishing funds to cover operating costs forced the closure of its shelter and layoffs of staff.

Longtime animal advocate Dawn Armstrong stayed on board as a volunteer to manage the adoption services and maintain the Web site. She’s now considered the program management consultant. Board member Judy Brown said the Humane Society provides $2,000 a month to Armstrong as a stipend to pay for the operation’s list of services and rent of another building on Emerald Bay Road near the U-Haul location.

“It’s nice to be in town. Some people who take advantage of the spay and neuter program don’t have transportation,” Brown said.

The local Humane Society – which uses Sierra Veterinary Hospital – also provides access to emergency treatment through an endowment fund, pet food to the needy and counseling. One woman recently came in with the dilemma to care for 22 cats, Brown pointed out.

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“She thought that was normal,” she said.

Netting $207,000, the transaction on the building sale closed about a month ago to Angie’s Signs. Angie Olson, who has been an animal welfare supporter, moved her Emerald Bay Road business into one building and plans to use the other one for storage. Olson said she bought the place for her dog, M.

Over the last two years, the Society’s 18 kennels and other miscellaneous equipment was sold for about $15,000. Steady donations continue to come in, but Brown stressed more would be accepted: P.O. Box Pet; South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158; (530) 577-4521.

The other organization, ACT, plans to host a fund-raiser this spring to bounce back from swallowing the $12,000 it collected last year from expenses incurred from spaying and neutering 204 animals, ACT spokesman Rich Hodge reported. Only one person chipped in to help with the expense, he added. However, there’s about $2,000 in grant money in ACT’s coffers.

“It’s a great learning process. With any new organization, you have to find out what to bite into,” he said.

At the same time, Hodge has been grateful to take part in “getting the word out into the community that there are very adoptable pets at our local animal shelter.” Donations are accepted at

South Lake Tahoe shares its plight among nonprofit animal welfare agencies. The 120-year-old S.P.C.A. in San Francisco was forced to cut its budget by 25 percent two years ago.