SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) ? There has been another round of layoffs at the San Francisco SPCA. Earlier cuts were administrative, but these layoffs will affect programs that are essential to the organization's mission.
16 people were laid off, with some cuts in animal care and veterinary hospital services. Several more had their hours cut, in a 15 percent staff reduction.
"We did the very best we could, making these very hard decisions," said Jan McHugh-Smith, President of the San Francisco SPCA.
Dwindling revenue and reserves in the recession forced the SPCA to slash more than a million and a half dollars in staff and services from its budget.
The Academy for Dog Trainers, which instructs animal trainers around the country and world, will be shut down. Its two teachers will leave as well.
"They're going to take it as a private enterprise and do that on their own," McHugh-Smith said.
But trainers will still be on call to help people with their pets' behavior problems.
And starting October 12th, there will be no more adoptions on Mondays.
Christina Leung, a dog sitter, said she was disappointed to learn San Francisco SPCA's downsizing.
"I definitely think the quality of care for dogs that are there will be affected. 16 people is a lot and dogs are a lot to take care of," she said.
Susan Dyer Reynolds, Editor-in-Chief of Northside San Francisco magazine, accused the SPCA in a recent article of overspending and failing to save enough animals said the cutbacks won't help the rescue effort.
"The rescues last year, just Rocket Dog Rescue and Grateful Dogs Rescue alone, took more dogs than the SFSPCA from Animal Care and Control," Reynolds said.
The SPCA, which called the accusations "unfounded," said it is doing its part.
"We'll continue to achieve the mission of saving animals' lives and helping animals in need," McHugh-Smith said. "What I want to say is that the quality of care for our animals will not be diminished here. The San Francisco SPCA has already been through administrative cuts in July. The staff hopes this round will be the tail end for a while.
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