San Francisco Department of the Environment

Library Newspapers Help San Francisco’s Furry Friends

Monday, March 4, 2013 

San Francisco Animal Care and Control has approximately 100 dogs, 75 cats, 25 small animals (rabbits, along with guinea pigs, birds, reptiles, and amphibians). With all of these scaly and furry friends, they need a lot of paper to line animals’ cages.

For years, they relied heavily on donations of the newspapers from volunteers or members of the public who brought in their newspapers, or sometimes directly from the source, the Chronicle. But they never had a regular supply of newspapers.

This all changed at one of SF Environment’s Climate Liaison meetings, where representatives from each City department meet to learn, share best practices, and produce annual Climate Action Plans for their departments. Through these meetings, Climate Liaisons have found that their work can overlap with other departments in unexpected ways.
When Liam Curry of Animal Care and Control met Roberto Lombardi of the San Francisco Public Library at one of these meetings, Curry approached Lombardi with an idea. He knew that the library orders thousands of newspapers each month. Would it be possible for the library to donate these to Animal Care and Control? The answer was yes.

On January 24th, the San Francisco Public Library gave the Animal Care and Control the first supply of two 64-gallon bins filled with newspapers, enough to take care of 100 percent of Animal Care and Control’s newspaper needs. They plan to continue this partnership into the future, so Animal Care and Control will have a continuous supply of newspaper.

As simple as this exchange might sound, this is an idea that has been floating around at Animal Care and Control for over a year. But nothing ever became of it until two months ago when Curry approached Lombardi to see if an arrangement could be made. As for the animals? Animal care supervisor Eric Zuercher says they couldn’t be more grateful. "They are poop machines," he added.

More information
Meet Our City's Climate Liaisons
SF Chronicle: Library's newspapers to help train pups
NPR’s Bluff the Listener: Are puppies in San Francisco facing a “terrible shortage of paper?”