Archive for the ‘Pets & Animals’ Category

Contra Costa Supervisors defer action on Assessor Kramer’s $325K legal cost claim; sets stage for new court battle

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

Approve temporary Antioch Library closure until May 31 for improvements; $233 million Regional Action Plan for unsheltered homeless; ban retractable dog leashes

Contra Costa County Assessor Gus Kramer.

By Daniel Borsuk

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors decided in closed session on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 to take “no action” on County Assessor Gus Kramer’s claim to pay him $325,000 in legal fees stemming from a misconduct trial that was declared a mistrial in November in Superior Court.

“This is going to cost the county much more money,” commented Kramer, who was unaware of the supervisors’ executive session decision when contacted by the Contra Costa Herald.

The supervisors’ inaction on his claim means Kramer will appeal the executive session “no decision” to Superior Court.

In his claim, Kramer says former Contra Costa County Administrator David Twa had told him on several occasions that the attorney costs for the misconduct trial would be paid by the county.

“I took him (i.e., Twa) at his word,” the 70-year-old Kramer said. “He said this to me up to 10 different times. Just how a person, who was responsible for managing the county’s money, can make promises like that and then the county does not come through with the money?”

Twa, who retired as Contra Costa County Administrator earlier this year and returned to his native Minnesota, continues to work as a consultant on the county’s redistricting that needs to be completed by the end of this year. Supervisors honored Twa by dedicating the new 3 1/2-story, 72,000 square foot administration building in Martinez in his name.

Supervisors did not comment on their executive session decision on Tuesday, especially District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg, who when contacted by the Contra Costa Herald, refrained from issuing any remarks other than informing this reporter on the board’s executive board decision on the Kramer claim.

Glover defeated Kramer in last November’s election for the supervisorial District 5 seat,  and is currently serving his sixth four-year term as a county supervisor, the longest tenure of any current member of the board.

Approve Temporary Antioch Library Closure

Supervisors approved the temporary closure of the Antioch Library to the public from April 21 through May 31 so that Public Works workers can paint the interior of the library and install new carpet and new shelving. The library is slated to reopen on Tuesday, June 1.

“Although initially planned to take place the prior fiscal year, the improvements were postponed for several months due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said County Librarian Alison McKee. “Despite the initial delay, shelving has been purchased and scheduled for installation, and work requests have been submitted for Public Works for the paint and carpet work.”

During the closure, Antioch library staff will be temporarily reassigned to other libraries to fill vacant positions.  The book drop will not be open at the Antioch library, and holds will not be available for pickup. Those needing library services during the closure should visit the nearby Prewett or Oakley libraries or any other county library.

Supervisors Approved Regional Action Plan for Unsheltered Homeless

During their regular meeting, on a 5-0 vote, supervisors accepted an ambitious regional action plan, by All Home, that aims to shelter the homeless at a cost of about $223 million, partly covered by Measure X sales tax revenues over the next three years. If funded and properly implemented as planned it will reduce by 75 percent the unsheltered homeless population by 2024.

According to the presentation to the board, “All Home is a Bay Area organization advancing regional solutions that disrupt the cycle of poverty and homelessness, redress the disparities in outcomes as a result of race, and create more economic mobility opportunities for extremely low-income (ELI) individuals and families.”

The action plan is based on a statement by the Regional Impact Council that the Bay Area is a “Region in Crisis.”

Board Chair Burgis, who represents the county on the nonprofit’s board of directors, called the plan a “bold plan” several times in addressing the complex issue of homelessness in the county.

Supervisors Gioia of Richmond and Burgis admitted that any effort to adequately house the homeless will require spending Measure X dollars, a new source of sales tax revenue county officials is expecting to come into county coffers later this year.

“This is a great time of opportunity to get people off the streets by leveraging our tax dollars,” said Gioia. “Contra Costa County is a great leader.”

“I am really excited Contra Costa County is shining the light on this crisis (i.e., homelessness). This will be presented to the Mayors’ Council and the Measure X Committee,” added District II Supervisor Candace Andersen of Danville.

$12.99 Million Buchanan Field Terminal Project Approved

Supervisors approved as a consent item the $12.99 million construction of a new Buchanan Field Terminal to replace the existing terminal at 181 John Glenn Dr. in Concord. Supervisors approved a construction contract submitted by W.E. Lyons Construction Co.

The Federal Aviation Administration will cover $6.1 million or 47 percent of the project’s cost.  CalTrans will provide $150,000 or 1 percent of the construction cost and the Airport Enterprise Fund will fund $6.74 million or 52 percent.

The new building will replace the existing terminal structure at the north end of John Glenn Drive.  The new terminal will include space for the Airports Divisions Administrative staff, Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting staff and equipment, public space to support scheduled and unscheduled air service providers, office space for aviation businesses, and general public meeting space.

The W.E. Lyons Construction Co. bid topped six other bids for the Buchanan airport project to be found to be responsive and in good faith.  The other six bids submitted for the project were:

Marcon Builders, $14,489,355; Zovich & Sons Inc., $14,559,000; Thompson Builders, $14,680,000; Patriot Contracting, $14,990,000; Rodam Builders, $15,315,000; and CWS Construction, $15,975,000.

Ordinance Bans Retractable Dog Leashes

With no public comment, supervisors approved a new Ordinance No. 2021-13, allowing community members to care for found dogs and cats and establishing new leash restrictions. Dog and cat leashes cannot be longer than six feet under the newly adopted ordinance.

Ordinance 2021-13 provides that a dog will be deemed to be “at large” if it is on a leash that is longer than six feet or that is extendable or retractable.  A long, retractable, or extendable leash allows a dog to get too far away from its handler, which does not allow for effective control of the dog.

Ensuring that a dog is walked on a leash that is six feet or less could reduce dog bites to children due to helping to ensure more effective control. According to a Consumer Reports and Consumer Union’s analysis of statistics collected in 2007, there were 16,564 hospital treated injuries associated with pet leashes, 10.5 percent of those injuries were to children less than 10 years old.

EHSD Language Line Contract

Supervisors approved a $1.1 million contract with Language Line Services, Inc. to provide interpretation and translation services for the Employment and Human Services Department from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. Language Line Services provides telephone interpretation, on-site interpretation, and document translation services to the Employment and Human Services Department and to the clients serviced by the department.

Over One Million COVID-19 Vaccines Given in County

On the COVID-19 news front, Contra Costa Health Services Director Anna Roth announced the county has administered over one million vaccines, the second highest in the state.  That translates into 90,000 vaccines a week were administered, said Roth.

Persons 16 years old and older can now get the vaccine, said Roth.  “No appointment is necessary.”

“A million doses are amazing!” said board chair Diane Burgis of Brentwood. “I want to acknowledge the hard work.”

“I also want to acknowledge everyone in Public Health on one million vaccinations,” said District 1 Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond, a frequent critic of the department’s inability to adequately vaccinate minorities in underserved communities like Richmond, El Sobrante, Bay Point, Pittsburg, Antioch, and Oakley.

“County Equity Officer Gilbert Salinas has done a great job in closing the equity gap,” Gioia said.

Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said people will have a choice of vaccines when they report for their shots. Dr. Farnitano said last Friday the CDC and FDA had accepted the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations to lift pausing on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for all adults.  The region’s health officers agreed that the risk of developing the rare clotting disorder in females is extremely low.

“According to the CDC, to date there have been only 15 confirmed cases of the rare clotting event among nearly 8 million total doses administered in the United States, all in females, which translates to a risk less than 2 cases per million doses overall and 7 cases per million doses among women between 18 and 49 years of age,” a joint press release of Bay Area Health Officers states.

 

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Purrs and Paws Baby Shower in Rivertown Saturday

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

Donations needed!

Happening: Saturday, April 24, 2021

Time: 12:00 – 3:00pm

Location: 708 West 2nd Street, Antioch

Sponsored by: Furry Friends Pet Relief Program

Spring has sprung and it’s “raining” kittens and puppies!

We get asked daily, sometimes multiple times a day, for help with abandoned, orphaned or found neonates. We know we can’t help them all, but we’d like to help as many as possible and that’s where you come in!

We’re excited to partner with Dirty Paws Animal Rescue for this Saturday’s (virtual & in person) puppy/kitten shower! Please swing by to meet some of our current fosters, get information on fostering for us, have a snack and take a tour of and what will soon become a low cost spay/neuter clinic right in downtown Antioch!

Can’t make it to the event? Here’s a link to our registry, any and all donations are greatly appreciated!

AMAZON https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/OZUGD2UBAV7V…

CHEWY https://prf.hn/…/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy…

On Line Event https://www.facebook.com/FurryFriendsPetRelief/posts/1877433429084414

Furry Friends Pet Relief Program  Tax ID: 47-2163583

“Helping those in need with their Furry Friends, keeping pets in their homes and out of the shelters”

For more information visit www.furryfriendsfoodre.wix.com/fffr or Like us on Facebook or call 925-481-2294.

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Antioch Animal Services receives $10,000 grant from newly named Petco Love

Saturday, April 17th, 2021

Antioch Animal Services staff with the ceremonial Petco Love grant check. Source: AAS

Investment in lifesaving work will help save more pet lives in Antioch, CA

Antioch Animal Services announced Friday, April 16, 2021, a $10,000 grant investment from the newly named, Petco Love, to support their lifesaving work for animals in Antioch, California.

Petco Love is a nonprofit leading change for pets nationally by harnessing the power of love to make communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since their founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, they’ve empowered organizations with nearly $300 million invested to date in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. They’ve also h elped find loving homes for more than 6.5 million pets in partnership with Petco and more than 4,000 organizations, like ours, nationwide.

“Today Petco Love announces an investment in Antioch Animal Services and hundreds of other organizations as part of our commitment to create a future in which no pet is unnecessary euthanized,” said Susanne Kogut, President of Petco Love. “Our local investments are only one component. This month, we will also launch the first of our national tools to empower all animal lovers to drive lifesaving change right alongside us.”

“We have worked diligently to improve the lives of pets in our community and are very excited to receive this grant from Petco Love to help support us in our efforts to return lost pets to their homes, and also help shelter pets find new loving homes,” said George Harding, Animal Services Manager at Antioch Animal Services.

For more information about Antioch Animal Services, visit antiochca.gov/police/animal-services, and click here to learn more about Petco Love.

About Antioch Animal Services

Antioch Animal Services is responsible for the enforcement of Local and State Laws relating to the care, control, and protection of the pets and citizens of Antioch, California. The Animal Shelter also provides pet adoption services, volunteer opportunities, dog licensing and various educational programs.

About Petco Love (Formerly Petco Foundation)

Petco Love is a non-profit, changing lives by making communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since our founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, we’ve empowered animal welfare organizations by investing nearly $300 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. We’ve helped find loving homes for more than 6.5 million pets in partnership with Petco and organizations nationwide. Today, our love for pets drives us to lead with innovation, creating tools animal lovers need to reunite lost pets, and lead with passion, inspiring and mobilizing communities and our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners to drive lifesaving change alongside us. Is love calling you? Join us. Visit petcolove.org to be part of the lifesaving work we’re leading every day.

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Two residents rescued as Antioch apartment fire claims life of dog Tuesday

Friday, March 26th, 2021

Photos: Con Fire

By Con Fire PIO

Con Fire firefighters rescued two residents from fully involved apartment fire in the 2800 block of Gentrytown Drive in Antioch Tuesday morning. Both were transported to hospital for smoke inhalation. Fire contained to one unit, which is total loss. One dog died in blaze. Fire under investigation. #gentrytownic

 

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Single but can’t mingle? Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your pet

Thursday, February 11th, 2021

Photo: Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society offers 14 ways

Valentine’s Day is hard enough for singles, but with COVID-19 and quarantining, finding a date for the big day isn’t just difficult, it’s downright dangerous. 

However, if you have a pet at home, all is not lost. Your dog or cat aren’t just content to spend this holiday with you...they just happen to be some of the best companions around for a celebration of any kind, including Valentine’s Day. They’re also happy to do free or low-cost activities (unlike a high-maintenance human date).  

“Valentine’s Day is all about love, and the best way to show our cats love is by helping them feel like the wild cat they were born to be. Get out a wand toy and help them hunt and catch the dangling prey on the endYour cat will love you forever for that,” said Samantha Bell, cat expert for Best Friends Animal Society. “After feeling satisfied with themselves from the hunt they’ll be ready for cuddle-time. 

Dogs bring something a little different to the table, according to Marissa Sunny, CPDT-KA and senior dog lifesaving specialist at Best Friends Animal Society.  

Dogs are the best dates ever. There is no need to get all dressed up, because they love you unconditionally and are the best cuddlers,” she said. “Just keep in mind your dog’s energy and tolerance level for certain activities. Ask yourself, ‘What would my dogs perfect date be?’ 

With that in mind, Best Friends offers the 14 best ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your pet: 

  • Karaoke: Too shy to sing for your human friends? Here’s a chance to be a pop star with a built-in devoted audience! Bonus, no Simon Cowell-like critique!  
  • Remote roulette: If you can’t figure out what to watch from the thousands of options, put the remote under your pets paws and watch whatever comes up. 
  • Spa day: A relaxing bath, blow dry, and mani/pedi sounds heavenly, doesn’t it? Recreate that experience for yourself and then do the same for your dog with some leisurely grooming time. Since most cats don’t like water, try a gentle brushing session instead.  
  • Picnic: Take your leashed and harnessed travel-friendly dog or cat down to the local park, lake, or beach for a little fresh air and an alfresco meal with healthy treats for both of you. 
  • Scenic ride: If those four walls are closing in on you, leash up your dog or crate your travel-friendly cat for a drive to somewhere beautiful. A change of scenery will do everyone good. Don’t forget to post a selfie to share with your nature-deprived friends! 
  • Wine with art: Pull out your art supplies and pour a glass of vino to unleash your inner Picasso. Pets can have unexpected talents, too – just check out this video to get them started on a masterpiece. 
  • Pet Project Runway: If you’re good with a needle and thread, how about creating something spectacular for your fashion-forward pooch? Dogs who love clothes will really enjoy wearing something made just for them by their favorite person. Capture the fun on social to make your friends smile, too – and for added fun, tag Tim Gunn 
  • Dance party: Nothing gets the heart pumping and endorphins flowing like a good boogie. Select your favorite tunes and invite your dog or cat to join in the festivities. 
  • Concert for two: Whether you’re a beginner or advanced musician, there won’t be any traditional opportunities to play with other people for a while. So why notake out that instrument and play a ditty for your pet? (You can also Google your favorite band to see if there’s any new concerts online to watch together) 
  • Baking treats: Don’t fret over missed chocolates. Make yourself something to satisfy that sweet tooth and a healthy something extra for your pooch, too, with special recipes just for them.  
  • Pet-themed movie marathon: Instead of watching sappy human love stories, reimagine Valentine’s Day pet-flix for a night of binge-watching that both of you can relate to. 
  • Yoga class: Who doesn’t need a little Zen right about now? Check out YouTube for yoga classes, lay out your mat, and do some downward dog with your dog or cat. 
  • Make a playlist: From “What’s New Pussycat?” to “Who Let the Dogs Out?,” there are dozens of songs to create a fun soundtrack to share with your pet. Bring it along on your next drive together to really set the tone! 
  • Read a good book: The perfect (or purrfect) introvert experience that can be easily shared on a couch or a bed with lots of pillows, blankets, and your four-legged buddy by your side. Top picks: “Total Cat Mojo” and “The Art of the Racing in the Rain.” 

Of course, if you don’t already have a pet, now is a great time to adopt. There are dogs and cats of all ages, sizes, and personalities just waiting for Cupid to connect them with the perfect adopter. To get started, visit www.bestfriends.org and find a shelter or rescue near you.  

 

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2021 Contra Costa County Fair canceled

Thursday, December 10th, 2020

ANTIOCH – As a major event facility, The Contra Costa Event Park has been weighing all of its options, as we monitor the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. There is no higher priority than the safety of our Fairgrounds family, patrons, vendors, promoters and sponsors at the Contra Costa Event Park. It is with heavy heart and great regret due to this ongoing situation the Contra Costa Event Park Board of Directors met last night and unanimously voted to cancel the 2021 Contra Costa County Fair scheduled for May 13 – 16.

We understand that this decision has both financial and emotional impact on all of our Fair partners. After thoughtful consideration, we do not feel it would be a responsible decision to continue with the planning of the 2021 Contra Costa County Fair, when it could potential be canceled at the last minute.

The Contra Costa County Fair has been an annual event for over 80 years, and has operated uninterrupted, with the exception of a few years during World War II. The Fair is a large part of our communities’ history and tradition, and the decision to cancel the 2021 Fair did not come lightly.

We thank the community and all of our partners for your continued support during these challenging times.

We look forward to seeing you all safe and healthy for the 2022 Contra Costa County Fair May 12 – 15.

 

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Owner of NorCal K9 in Antioch sentenced to two years in state prison for animal cruelty

Monday, July 13th, 2020

By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa District Attorney

Garry Reynolds.

On July 10, the Honorable Patricia Scanlon sentenced the owner of NorCal K 9 Garry Reynolds (39-years-old) to two years in state prison. Earlier this year, a jury found Reynolds guilty of four felonies – all counts of animal cruelty for each dog under the care and supervision of NorCal K9, a dog training business. The jury found Reynolds was criminally negligent in the care of four animals under his company’s care in Antioch. (See related article)

Reynolds was remanded into custody immediately after he was sentenced. Judge Scanlon also denied a motion by Reynolds’ attorney to reduce the charges to misdemeanors and the motion for a new trial. Deputy District Attorney Arsh Singh prosecuted the case on behalf of the People. DDA Singh is assigned to the Felony Trial Team.

“I am satisfied the defendant will serve time in state prison due to his extreme negligence and disregard for the animals under his company’s care,” DDA Singh stated. “This case should serve as a wakeup call for any dog training company in our community. Animals deserve to be protected and treated well. Our Office will not tolerate the abuse of any animal.”

The City of Antioch started an investigation into the house where the dogs were located at 5200 Lone Tree Way. The investigation started as a code enforcement matter but progressed to a criminal investigation led by the Antioch Police Department due to a dog’s death. Two dogs were eventually euthanized due to the injuries the dogs suffered.

The investigation also led police to Devon Ashby, an employee of NorCal K9. Ashby was charged by the DA’s Office for his involvement in this case and he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty.

The following dogs were associated with the jury’s earlier guilty verdict:

  • Gunner, Doberman
  • Favor, Cane Corso
  • Zeus, German Shepherd
  • Rambo (Bo), Labro-Poodle

Case information: People v. Garry Reynolds, Docket Number 05-191200-5

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Antioch Friends of Animal Services to provide pet adoption fees beginning Thursday

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

By Antioch Friends of Animal Services

The following adoption special at Antioch Animal Services will begin on Thursday, April 2nd and will remain in effect until Saturday, May 2nd. It may be extended depending on if mandatory lockdown dates are extended.

Need a companion, co-worker, walking partner or playmate to keep you and the family company during the mandatory stay at home order as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Antioch Friends of Animal Services is sponsoring the adoption fees of all animals at Antioch Animal Services to encourage the public to adopt a homeless pet. There is no better time than now, when you are home and can help that new furbaby adjust to a home life.

All adoptions at Antioch Animal Services are by appointment only due to social distancing requirements. Please call (925) 779-6989 daily from 8am to 5pm to schedule a meet and greet with any animal (or animals) that you are interested in meeting.

You can view available pets at www.antioch.petfinder.comwww.petharbor.com or by following the Antioch Animal Services and Antioch Friends of Animal Services Facebook Pages.
The sponsored adoption fee includes: spay/neuter, microchip and age appropriate shots
Antioch residents will be required to pay a $20 license fee for dog adoptions.

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