Should North County euthanize cats to save money?

September 20, 2017

In a plan to save money, Paso Robles and Atascadero city official are considering adopting a program where animals would be euthanized three days after being picked up by animal services. [Cal Coast Times]

Currently, the county provides legally mandated animal services for cities in the county. The county animal shelter currently has a 93 percent adoption rate and Woods Humane Society, a nonprofit, has a 99 percent adoption rate. Both facilities are usually at or near capacity.

Three years ago, officials determined the existing county animal services shelter was dilapidated and a health hazard to animals and the people who work there. The cities and the county then entered into an agreement to build a new animal shelter.

Several years ago, Paso Robles and Atascadero city councils looked into the cost of operating a North County animal shelter that would not only comply with state regulations but would also provide comparable shelter services. Because the cost of operating a separate animal shelter was more than the amount the cities are slated to pay the county, the North County cities elected to continue their partnerships with the county.

Read entire article at Cal Coast Times.


Since the beginning of time – well, not quite – it has been perplexing as to why the County mandates that DOGS be licensed but CATS get away scot-free? If the County required cat owners to license all of their cats, the funds generated from that change alone would probably cover the cost of a new shelter (IF a new shelter is really necessary). And an “unexpected perk”? Cat owners may “see the light” and start to spay/neuter their cats. What a concept!


I have never understood why we license dogs in the first place. Wouldn’t solve the problem anyway, just like leaving posts with dog pickup bags for convenience. Now people pick up the poop and throw the bags on the ground. Irresponsible people will remain exactly who they are. We have a man in our neighborhood, walks his giant dog every day and never picks up after him. He has been seen and told to pick up after his dog and just refuses to do it. More regulations/licenses aren’t a fix.


There is some truth to what you say but this is not an all or none situation. Yes some people will remain irresponsible as pet owners no matter what and some will always be responsible. But there are a lot in between and many of them can be influenced (and even develop good habits) if it is easier for them to do so. Complete fixes are impossible but partial fixes are not. It is just a matter of whether or not they are worth the costs.

Noodly Appendages

Yes. That is the answer to the headline’s question. Ab so lutely! But why hold it to North County?


Does anyone really consider that their cat is missing before 3 days have passed? A dog …yes but cats?

Little fluffy will be put down before you even know she’s gone if North County officials has their way..

How about they crack down on all the fake service dogs being taken into every dept store and restaurant in the area?

Maybe they can raise some funds from these law breakers to pay for animal care beyond 3 days.

Black Copter Pilot

I asked a manager at Costco why they let dogs in….comfort dogs with ebay vests…he said they were afraid of being sued, so they allow it. And so it goes.


We should really spay & neuter cat ‘owners’.

Problem solved.


This problem has popped up all over the county, especially the unincorporated areas.

The problem with out of control feline breeding leads to dumping of cats and if those who “own” cats would keep them inside and get them spayed immediately, end of problem. ctas that are not spayed and left to themselves outside all day, will lead to cats doing what cats have done for centuries, kill small creatures (like 4 million birds annually)for fun and breed like rabbits…

Now to the newly proposed county pound/animal regulation facility, I say no way. The county already has a facility on Kansas avenue and staff to run it. Why would we need a new 14 million dollar facility, which would “save money”, the county could save money by trimming back at the top and spend wisely on existing programs…


Finally someone, Steve Martin, has questioned this fleecing of taxpayers funds. And as usual Tom O’Malley will not make a statement on this but puts the issue on the shoulders of the good Mayor of Paso Robles who is attempting to represent the citizens of Paso Robles. Shame on the Board of Supervisors for even considering the costs of this shelter-$14 million?

Both Paso Robles and Atascadero pay a combined amount to the county close to $500,000 a year for animal services. Should Paso Robles and Atascadero get on board to participate in the cost of this new shelter that would require close to another $500,000. That would be a total of close to $1 million a year.

Anyone with any common sense could tell you that $1 million a year would be ample funds to provide a local animal shelter and services. I would estimate that for $100,000 a year a “dog catcher” and truck could be provided. There are several services in the north county that provide very adequate care for our animals and facilities to board the animals when needed. These facilities could be contracted to provide services as needed. If they are good enough for our animals they should be more than adequate for the government. Atascadero has it’s zoo that is fully qualified to care for all animals. Could it be possible for the city of Atascadero to take the lead on this.

Unfortunately there is alot of politics involved here. Supervisor Compton, who in my opinion is doing a good job, is a known cat lover and cares for cats and other animals which is a good deed. Is politics dictating that other politicians will support this action in order to stay on the good side of Ms. Compton.

You pat my back and I’ll pat your back. Unfortunately that patting of backs is with our tax money.


“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Mahatma Gandhi


Really? Down votes for Gandhi?


Maybe we can start with judging how we treat our nation’s poor and impoverished?…

…then we work up to grading our greatness on an animal scale.


That means the whole world is screwed, EXCEPT for zealots like Ghandi and jainists


Please stop calling it euthanasia, which means “the act of putting to death painlessly … a person or animal suffering from an incurable, especially a painful, disease or condition” according to This is killing for human convenience, not mercy killing.

Jorge Estrada

Just outlaw the shooting of coyotes and the problem will be solved. Currently the ground squirrels are out of control for the same reason.


And how, Jorge, do you propose to train these coyotes to only prey on feral cats and to leave well cared for, neutered domestic family pets alone? hmmm….

I don’t know about any causal relationship between ground squirrels and coyotes. I do know, from first hand observation and experience that the ground squirrel population in the North County rises and falls from year to year. While I *think* the coyote population remains at a constant level.

I am going to assume that your comment was tongue in cheek and was just troll bait . . . .

Jorge Estrada

sloweb, I know people who shoot all of the coyotes they can for fun with the claim that they kill their calves. If you go where their are few people, the coyotes have kept the ground squirrel population down. As for domestic cats, they would all live a short life, with some exceptions. Certainly there would not be a kitty problem, it would be called a feast.