Animal shelter design woes anger Zine

By Rick Orlov

Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine issued a sharp rebuke Monday as the heavy rain flooding Los Angeles recently has exposed problems at some new city animal shelters, where plastic sheeting is being used to protect animals and prevent flooding in kennels.

Zine said use of the sheeting at the city's Northeast Animal Center at 3201 Lacy St. is an affront to taxpayers who approved a $160 million bond in 2000 to build seven new shelters.

Told Monday that the city now might need to pay $180,000 or more from the bond to correct deficiencies in the shelter designs - modeled after shelters used in Pasadena - Zine erupted.

"How often do we have to ask the taxpayers to pay for our mistakes?" Zine said. "This is outrageous. I get so frustrated at the incompetence I see happening over and over."

Zine was told the city had worked with the humane community to develop and approve modern designs for the shelters that now make it difficult to require contractors to make repairs without compensation.

"What bothers me is the lack of oversight on these facilities," Zine said. "They designed these and I'm not sure they really looked at our needs here. Here we have brand new shelters and we have tarps up to protect the animals.

"What I want is for the contractor to pay ... to fix the problems. But I want a report on all these shelters." Zine said residents alerted him to the problem and said he understands there might be similar problems at shelters in the San Fernando Valley.

Councilman Ed Reyes asked for a report on problems at each of the shelters, along with steps needed to improve the facilities.

Comment: What is not mentioned here is it is the City's engineering department that designed and oversaw the project, but Linda Gordon told the engineering dept. what she wanted. Nothing is mentioned about input from the animal community.

From the Engineering Dept. website:

Program Manager - Bureau of Engineering: Kiran Vohra
Dept. Animal Services Representative: Linda Gordon

Project Managers - Bureau of Engineering: Al Bazzi; Alan Espiritu; Pradeep Ranade; Hoi Van Luc.


Anonymous said...

The humane community didn't develop and approve the shelters. The proposition F oversight committee had no real say or control, neither did the animal groups. There would be meetings and we'd offer suggestions. They said they would do things then never did anything.

We specifically asked for adequate protection from the elements in the outdoor enclosures. All of the old shelters have adequate protection. In fact all shelters have adequate protection.

Over the summer the animals were getting sun burned because there was no sun shade. We asked them to add shade cloths and tarps. They wouldn't for a few weeks but finally relented. Imagine a beautiful new shelter with ugly blue tarps tied with rope over the enclosures. Linda Gordon is to blame for those problems.

Anonymous said...

What shelter designer would not put a roof over the outdoor enclosures? The old shelters all have roofs over the enclosures.

Anonymous said...

It was such a joke to take so much of our money and then put someone with NO experience designing shelters in charge of designing them. IDIOTS!

We should have tried to model our shelters after the shelter in San Francisco (SPCA?), where it is more home-like, and more attractive to adopters, and MUCH better for the animals. Why do they make them like prisons? These animals haven't committed any crime. I could have done a much better job than Linda Gordon with the same experience she has in shelter design- NONE!

(for the countless other things this no-soul of a clown has done)

Anonymous said...

Linda Gordon was an Animal Control Officer. She said so at the infamous November 2005 meeting. She put animals in the freezer, cleaned cages. Why in the world was she put in charge of designing and overseeing the construction of the shelters? What are her qualifications? Scooping poop and dead bodies? Does she have a degree in architecture, engineering, a contractors license? No.

Anonymous said...

I was told Linda Gordon visited several shelters nationally in order to get ideas and input on shelter design.

Brad Jensen
Cypress, CA

Anonymous said...

Here is the report on the water leaks. What a bunch of idiots. Their fix made the problem worse.

rain damage

Anonymous said...

At the phoney meetings where Gordon, the designers and the architects solicited ideas from senior staff, they sat there and listened with puzzled looks on their faces as we gave our suggestions. Then they said words to the effect "Well, that's not what we have in mind."

I distinctly told them the conventional, nearly universal kennel design of dogs being able to go indoors or outside as they pleased was best, yeah, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
They were obviously determined to have a new and improved design and kept repeating, "But at Pasadena Humane..."

I cannot believe that grownups actually designed the North Central outside cages with no cover or drainage, you know, like when it rains in, where is the water supposed to go? That concrete looks hot in the summer and cold in the winter.