Meetings - September 19, 2019 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
September 19, 2019 - 5:30pm
City Hall Room 408
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102



Meeting Minutes September 19, 2019


  1. Call to Order and Roll Call

Present: Annemarie Fortier; Bunny Rosenberg; Shari O’Neill; Nina Irani; Russell Tenofsky; Brian Van Horn, DVM; Michael Torres

Absent: Jane Tobin; Lisa Wayne; Officer Ryan Crockett


  1. General Public Comment:
    • Member of public commented regarding concern about Golden Gate National Recreational Area (“GGNRA”) plan to restrict dog-walking beginning on September 30th.


  1. Approval of Draft Minutes from August 2019 Meeting
    • Meeting minutes were approved.


  1. Chairperson’s and Commissioners’ Reports
    1. Commissioner Fortier reports that GGNRA issue will soon be on the agenda, with the hope that SF Dog will report additional information to the Commission. 


  1. New Business
    1. Commissioner Appointments
      • Michael Angelo Torres was appointed to the Commission. Rachel Reis has resigned. 


  1. Old Business
    1. SF ACC / SPCA Feral Cat Program Changes
      1. An update on ACC’s new policy for feral kittens and mothers.
      2. Commissioner Irani reported on recent meeting with Supervisor Mar’s staff and upcoming meeting with Supervisor Safai’s staff to discuss issue and next steps.  
      3. Commissioner Van Horn reported that Toni’s Kitty Rescue (“TKR”) is working on a proposal for Department of Animal Care & Control (“ACC”) to provide care for feral cat moms and kittens.
      4. Commissioner O’Neil reported on the twelve calls received since March by ACC and Community Cats (“CC”) about feral mothers and kittens that were left in the field: 1 group died soon after being called-in, 1 group was adopted by a resident, 2 groups were brought into TKR, 3 groups were lost as residents did not return calls, 4 groups went through Trap-Neuter-Release (5 mothers and 23 kittens), 1 group is still in contact with CC.
      5. Members of the public commented as follows:
        • ACC states they are open to all animals, but if they are not willing to take in these cats, they should change their open admissions policy statement. 
        • There is concern that no request has been made to Board of Supervisors to reverse the policy, and that no one has reached out to the foster volunteers to assess whether the animals are suffering in foster care.  The rescue groups are already overburdened, and ACC needs to take in these animals as before because they are responsible for them.
        • It is obvious that ACC has responsibility for all animals in the city, and a rescue group should not have to be formed to do the work that ACC and TKR were previously doing. There is concern that ACC and SPCA do not reach out to the rescue community.
        • The appropriate solution is not to stop bringing these cats into shelter but to find ways to reduce stress for these cats in shelter.
        • ACC should be investigated, as they do not seem accountable to concerned volunteers.  Young kittens shouldn’t be left in danger outdoors while they could be safe in foster care. 
        • The Board of Supervisors and Commission need to follow-up on the civil grand jury report that found issues with ACC data collection and reporting.




  1. San Francisco Dog Licensing
    1. San Francisco requires dog guardians to register pets. The Commission will discuss this regulation.  Sally Stephens, President, SF Dog, and M Rocket, Director, SF Dog, will join the discussion.
    2. Commissioner Irani reported on SF Dog public education initiative regarding responsible dog ownership, including encouraging dog licensing and discouraging tethering.  
    3. Sally and Rocket discussed issues including lack of awareness and barriers to licensing, and that campaign goal would be a long-term initiative to raise awareness, honor San Francisco’s dog population, and permanently change the behavior of guardians.  Distribution of materials could be through adoption packets, veterinarian offices, pet stores, and community boards.  Sally also plans to write a column for the Examiner regarding this issue.
    4. Commissioner Rosenberg suggested approaching local newspapers to do additional reporting on dog theft.
    5. Commissioner Tenofsky voiced concern regarding Commission’s ability to launch public education campaign given lack of resources.
    6. Commissioner Torres volunteered to work on campaign with Commissioner Irani as private citizens.  Commissioner Irani will reach out to Recreation and Parks Department to ask about distributing campaign materials in parks.  Commissioner Fortier will follow-up with SFPD regarding testimonial about dog thefts. 
    7. Commissioner O’Neil reported that ACC Director and new Deputy Director will address the Commission at a future meeting regarding ACC’s work on dog licensing. 
    8. Member of public commented that dogs are not health hazards.   


  1. Commission Technology Update
    1. An update on Commissioners’ efforts to update the webpage and secure oversight from a City agency.
    2. Commissioner Fortier reported that this issue was brought to the attention of the Rules Committee and Supervisor Ronen and her staff, and reported on the additional issue of the Commission not having access to a database that other city organizations have access to.  Supervisor Ronen will be trying to address the issue, perhaps by working to amend the City charter to include the Commission. 


  1. General Public Comment
    • Member of public commented regarding a tethered dog he found, for which he called ACC and requested a CIP (“Contact Interested Party”) so that the dog would be rescued if it was in danger of euthanasia.  ACC responded that they no longer do CIPs.  The resident found out later that the dog, number A433074, had been euthanized despite efforts to rescue it by Rocket Dog.  Requested that CIPs be reinstated by ACC and that this issue be discussed at a future meeting.


  1. Items to be put on Calendar for Future Commission Meetings

A.  Feral Cat Issue  

B.   Dog Licensing/Tethering

C.   Technology Update


  1. Adjournment (approx. 7:08 p.m.)