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Paso Robles, Atascadero opt out of county animal shelter 

–Paso Robles and Atascadero City Councils both voted to opt out of San Luis Obispo County’s $14 million dollar animal shelter. At a noontime meeting, the Atascadero City Council voted 3-2 with Mayor Tom O’Malley and Councilwoman Heather Moreno casting the dissenting votes. Heather Moreno, who is a CPA, said they did not have enough information about costs. The Atascadero decision was contingent on Paso Robles City Council rejecting the county proposal.

The Paso Robles Council met at 2:30 and voted unanimously to opt out of the county’s planned animal shelter. They agreed to explore alternative sites in Paso Robles. They are already talking with non-profit operators of the Petaluma Animal Services, Petaluma Animal Services operates several animal shelters in Northern California.

Paso Robles officials estimate the cost of a new shelter will be between $4.5 to 5.2 million dollars. Petaluma Animal Services estimates that it could provide staffing for about $500 thousand a year. The county wanted $555,000 a year, resulting in a savings of about 10-percent. The proposed North County shelter will be located within North County, which will both save on fuel costs and improve local service availability and response time.

Atascadero City Councilman Charles Burbeau says, “It’s time for us, Atascadero and Paso Robles, to stand up to the county.”

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