Advice Well Taken

City seeks members for animal advisory committee

By Cathryn Rakich
January 2021

Sacramento has numerous boards, commissions and committees to help the mayor and City Council run the city smoothly. One of those entities is an advisory committee for the Front Street Animal Shelter.

Unfortunately, the Animal Care Services Citizens Advisory Committee, formed in 2002, has not met since 2018, mostly for lack of a quorum. The committee currently has one member and six vacancies—which is why the city is looking for a few good animal lovers to bring this board back to life.

Working with shelter staff, the committee provides advice and recommendations to the mayor and City Council on strategies, policies and programs related to the quality of care provided to the animals housed at Front Street.

“Front Street is and continues to be a leader and model in animal welfare and sheltering,” says Phillip Zimmerman, animal care services manager for Front Street. “If the committee is filled, they will have to decide what role they want to play in helping the council, mayor and city staff improve the services we provide to our community.”

The committee meets once a month at the Front Street shelter, with special meetings if necessary. Committee members serve two three-year terms and are appointed by the mayor with approval by a majority of the City Council. The meetings are open to the public.

“The best qualities and experiences are to have an understanding of current best practices in animal welfare and sheltering, and a basic understanding of how local municipal governments govern,” Zimmerman says.

Two committee members must be animal care professionals, including at least one veterinarian, and two members must be actively involved in the operation of an animal welfare organization. These members will reside in the greater Sacramento metropolitan area.

Three members represent the community at large, and are not animal care professionals or affiliated with an animal welfare organization. They must be city of Sacramento residents.

“Front Street actively listens to our volunteers and community members and regularly engages in conversations on how we can do things better, while understanding that animal welfare and sheltering has a lot more facets than just intaking animals,” Zimmerman says.

“COVID-19 has taught Front Street and shelters across this country that there is a better way to help animals and people, but we have to be willing to listen to each other and rely on science and data to help ensure that Front Street continues to be a model in animal welfare and sheltering.”

The deadline to apply for the advisory committee is Jan. 31. For more information or to apply, visit

Cathryn Rakich can be reached at Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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