Sacramento Animal Shelter Operating Under Tight Quarters

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Sacramento City Animal Shelter does about 60 surgeries a week, but the spay, neutering and other small operations are done in a small trailer.

Talk about a tight fit. Four people, two surgeries and a dozen animals were squeezed into a 20-foot trailer parked outside the city’s animal shelter on a recent day.

“It’s embarrassing,” Animal Care Services manager Gina Knepp said. “It’s also a miracle that we do what we do in here.”

The law says before the city can adopt out an animal, it must spay or neuter it and for a decade that’s been done inside the tiny trailer.

“Adoptions are high, and the byproduct of that is having to do more surgeries before the animals go home with their new families,” Knepp said.

Vets do 50 to 70 surgeries inside this trailer each week. During our visit, a cat was about to go under the knife just a couple feet away from a dog.

“Technically, this should be a prep table and this should be a surgery table,” one of the vets said.

But this trailer’s surgery days are numbered. The shelter is going to build a new building there that will have four operation tables, giving vets and animals the space they need.

Knepp says the new building will also save money.

“If we have too many animals, we do have to send them out to a contract vet, which is extremely expensive,” she said.

Once the building is done, the trailer will be used for what it was originally meant to do – go out into the city for community events to promote animal adoptions.

The vets will have to deal with this crowded space for about six more months, the new building should be ready by August. The cost, about $400,000, will come out of the city’s capital improvement fund.

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