Party for Berkeley's New Animal Shelter Saturday

It's been open since November, but the "grand opening" celebration of Berkeley's new animal shelter – which also serves Albany, Emeryville and Piedmont – takes place Saturday with special events, refreshments and officials.

After long planning and much anticipation, Berkeley's new and expanded animal shelter opened its doors on Nov. 6, and now it's celebrating the new digs with a "grand celebration" Saturday.

The two-story building – named the Dona Spring Animal Shelter after the late Berkeley City Councilwoman who championed animal welfare issues – is located at 1 Bolivar Drive, at the foot of Allston Way next to Interstate 80 at the north end of Aquatic Park.

The city-run facility also serves as the shelter for Piedmont, Emeryville and Albany, and in the case of Albany, it also provides some animal control services.

Saturday's celebration, from noon to 2:30 p.m., is also celebrating the new East Touchdown Plaza next to the shelter, which marks the eastern approach of the Berkeley Bike Bridge over I-80.

The festivities will include elected officials, tours, refreshments, "meet and greet" with animals, and representatives of several animal welfare organizations, city officials said.

Because of very limited parking near the shelter, the city advises those attending the grand opening to park on the other side of the freeway and to cross over on the Bike Bridge.

The new shelter replaces the city's old shelter about a block away on Second Street. The new facility began with voter passage of Measure I in November 2002, authorizing $7.2 million in city bonds for the project.

"We really like it," said Marcie Burrell, an animal control supervisor at the shelter. "It's much brighter, more cheerful."

"The animals seem happier, quieter," she said, noting that the air conditioning system provides more fresh air and that the walls between the animals' enclosures, instead of the wire dividers in the old shelter, provide greater sound-proofing and reduced in-your-face encounters that can put animals on edge.

Tom Zhang February 01, 2013 at 04:24 PM
Do they provide very service?
Jai Jai Noire February 01, 2013 at 07:36 PM
I've been there and its a beautiful place with great staff!


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