CALEXICO — Lead volunteer with the Calexico animal shelter, Diana Daniels, said the fundraiser she and her loose band of volunteers have organized to equip the shelter with tents and tarps to keep the animals warm is nearing the final stretch.
“We’re about $1,000 to $1,500
away from our goal, more or less,” Daniels said Jan. 15.
Calexico Border Paws,
which Daniels started about nine or 10 years ago to advocate, raise money and
provide volunteer work hours for the city’s animal shelter, started a drive in
late November/early December to raise $7,500. That is the estimated cost to cover the 15 open-air
kennels at the shelter to help keep the dogs warm during the cold winter
shelter, near West Second Street/Anza Road at 298 E. Animal Shelter Drive, is
an open-air facility and is run by the city.
She said she hopes to
wrap up the fundraiser soon because the tents/tarps need to be custom-fitted to
the openings of the kennels.
Calexico Border Paws,
which has its own Facebook page along with an online fundraising campaign for
the tents/tarps, meets at the shelter every Saturday to clean, provide work
hours and take care of the animals. Daniels said she got the idea to raise the
money for the tents/tarps after speaking with an animal control officer about
ways to keep the animals warm during the cold weather.
She said the city never
has the funding to pay for such things “so we knew the only way we could get
this done was to take it into our own hands,” Daniels said.
Calexico City Manager David
Dale said he appreciates the work the volunteers do, and they help when the
city falls short financially. The city has been working hard over the last
several years to recover from a $4 million general-fund deficit at one point.
“Because the animal-control
facility is open-air, the heaters are not very effective. A recommendation was
made by one of the Animal Control officers to install a tent around the
facility to keep the warmth in. The volunteers immediately went to work to find
the funds to install the fire-retardant tent,” Dale said during an interview
“A good amount of effort
is going into this project by the volunteers. The city has also been looking
for corporate sponsors for this project. In my view, the city’s motto, ‘To
improve the quality of life for all,’ even includes animals,” Dale said. “As
has been emphasized many times in the past, the city has very limited resources
with respect to staff time and money.”
Dale acknowledged the
city and the volunteers have been instrumental in working together to make many
improvements at the facility in the past two years. This includes installing
grass running areas, a new electrical system and heaters, building new kennels
and giving the animals a better chance at adoption by utilizing multiple rescue
“Some volunteers have
even started a trap-neuter-release program for cats in the city, which we agree
with but also costs money,” he explained.
“I would venture to say
that the facility is in much better shape than two years ago. We still have a ways
to go on repairing a few of the existing kennels, but we have the materials and
are in the process of scheduling the kennels to be repaired; either through
volunteers or city staff time,” Dale added.
“We appreciate the
assistance we have been getting from volunteers from the community at the animal
control facility. It can be frustrating at times how long it takes to complete
tasks in municipal government, especially at a city that has seen its share of
financial difficulties. Because of liability and other issues, we need to go
through the process to protect the city, staff, volunteers and the animals,”