October 31, 2014
Final Reports
San Mateo Courts - Civil Grand Jury

Response from Town of Woodside

I am writing on behalf of the Town Council of the Town of Woodside. The Town Council has had an opportunity to review the section of the 2000-01 Grand Jury report that applies to the Town. This year's report included a recommendation that all cities in San Mateo County adopt the San Mateo County Pet Overpopulation Program (County Ordinance Code, Chapter 6.12) in its entirety.

The Town Council has not taken a formal position on the advisability of implementing the Grand Jury's recommendation, so we are unable to indicate at this time whether we are in agreement with its findings. Because implementation would require a modification of the Woodside Municipal Code and because it would establish additional regulations that would have impact on Town residents, we will subject the proposed program to the public hearing process. Our first action will be to refer the recommendation to the Town's Livestock and Animal Control Committee. The committee will hold a public meeting and invite comment and input from all interested parties. The committee will make its own recommendation to the Town Council on the proposed legislation. The Council will, in turn, hold a public hearing to solicit input prior to undertaking its deliberations. At the conclusion of that meeting, the Town Council will decide whether the Grand Jury's recommendation is appropriate for implementation within the Town of Woodside.

We commend the members of the Grand Jury for their concern about the pet population of the County of San Mateo and for their desire to decrease the incidence of euthanasia and animal disease. We are somewhat confused by the Grand Jury's discussion of the Pet Overpopulation Program and its ultimate recommendation that County Ordinance Code Chapter 6.12 in its entirety be adopted on a county-wide basis. In its discussion of its findings, the Grand Jury concludes that the uniform adoption of this chapter will improve the quality of life for dogs and cats and their owners by protecting pets against rabies infection and reuniting lost pets with their owners. This conclusion seems to suggest that the Grand Jury is recommending that both cats and dogs should be licensed and vaccinated against rabies. This is not what is embodied in Chapter 6.12, however, which deals with spaying, neutering, breeding licenses, and regulation of pet sales and adoptions. If we have misunderstood the Grand Jury's recommendation, we would appreciate clarification.

We will advise you of the outcome of our public consideration of the Grand Jury's recommendation. I would anticipate that the proposed legislation would be before the Town Council by early next calendar year. Please feel free to call Susan George, our Town Manager, should you need additional information.

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