After the Lodi Animal Commission expressed concerns in December that the Lodi City Council was not responding to the commission's annual status reports, the council spent about half an hour reviewing the commission's recommendations at Wednesday's meeting.
Some of the suggestions included putting a link on the city's homepage that goes directly to the shelter's adoption information and getting a sign in front of the shelter encouraging adoption.
The commission recommended a sign listing the euthanasia rates for dogs and cats as a reminder to the public that animals have to be put to sleep every day at the shelter.
City staff and Mayor JoAnne Mounce suggested a softer message, because they wanted to highlight the shelter's successes as opposed to focusing on the negative.
"We could bring attention through this sign to adopt an animal without necessarily having a number there," Mounce said. "The message is not getting out there quite as loud as it should be. Maybe we could put a sign out there that says something like, 'Adopt an animal, save a life.'"
Councilman Larry Hansen agreed, saying the sign could say something similar to one of the city of Lodi's animal control trucks, which says, "Spay and neuter your pets and put me out of a job."
Lodi resident Ed Miller suggested the council look into an electronic sign, so the shelter can advertise animals up for adoption or recruit volunteers to help. He said the city could look at renting a temporary one either with some money in the budget or through donations, to see if it is successful before buying one.
Councilman Bob Johnson said a sign could focus on how Lodi is a model for other shelters in the county. The city has the lowest euthanasia rate for dogs, at 17 percent, and for cats, at 65 percent, out of any city in the county, according to a study from the Animal Protection League.
Commission chair Phil Laughlin said he appreciated the council's comments.
"Our sole concern is that we needed to get some feedback so that we do not keep recommending things that you are not interested in," he said.
Hansen told the commission that he appreciates their efforts and that their input is important. He also thanked the shelter staff and volunteers with People Assisting Lodi Shelter, a nonprofit that staffs the shelter.
"Clearly, there's always going to be more work to be done. We hear the phrase, 'We want to be a no-kill shelter,' and I think that in many ways we are going in the right direction and (we shouldn't) lose sight of that," Hansen said.