SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Animal Shelter and the Santa Monica Police Department announced the establishment of Friends of the Santa Monica Animal Shelter, a nonprofit organization to assist the city staff, on Monday, August 22. The Shelter is looking for community members to participate as inaugural board members with the new organization.

The Shelter is operated by the SMPD and houses stray and surrendered animals, animals that are victims of abuse, and confiscated stolen animals. Alex Mendoza, Public Services Administrator for Animal Control, told Canyon News that the Friends of the Santa Monica Animal Shelter was part of the vision of the SMPD chief of police. Mendoza indicated that the organization was started due to the small staff at the animal shelter and the need for organizing a volunteer workforce to help with fundraising efforts.

Board members will serve on a voluntary basis,  will promote fundraising efforts, and acquire valued resources that will help the Shelter provide high quality care and services to all the animals. Responsibilities of board members will include participating in public meetings, fundraising, and community outreach that promotes the Shelter’s mission and programs.

Prerequisites for potential board members include:

  • Live or work in a veterinarian related field within the city of Santa Monica.
  • Must be a California resident, prior to appointment.
  • Completion of a background check.
  • Completion of a volunteer orientation, prior to appointment.
  • Participation in SMPD’s Community Academy within the first year.
  • Two or three year commitment.

Skills and knowledge that the organization is looking for in potential board members include:

  • Fundraising
  • Marketing
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Strong Communication
  • Strategic Planning
  • Organizational Development

Mendoza told Canyon News that the three most important things they are looking for in board members is an understanding of veterinary and animal services, an understanding of fundraising for a nonprofit organization, and an understanding of the public sector. Santa Monica residents are encouraged to apply, Mendoza indicated, and a background check will be part of the application process.

Community members that are interested in becoming a board member for the Friends of the Santa Monica Animal Shelter can submit a letter of interest and a resume online to, or by mail or in person at 1640 9th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404. Application documents will be accepted from August 22 to September 9. Anyone with questions can contact the Animal Shelter at (310) 458-8567 during business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.