Council to Reinstate Spay/Neuter?

Four members of the Los Angeles City Council introduced a motion Friday ordering the city Department of Animal Services to reinstate a voucher program that allows low-income pet owners to spay and neuter their animals free.

"Canceling the voucher program was . . . a step backward in trying to reach a no-kill policy in this city," said Councilman Tony Cardenas. He and fellow councilmen Richard Alarcon, Eric Garcetti and Dennis Zine presented the motion. Cardenas and Alarcon also co-wrote the 2008 ordinance mandating that most pets in the city be sterilized. 

Spaying and neutering pets is seen by animal welfare advocates and shelter managers as a crucial step toward lowering animal shelter populations and the euthanasia rate. They say the voucher program encourages compliance among lower-income residents, who might be reluctant to pay several hundred dollars to sterilize their pets.

"Reductions in preventative services such as spay/neuter programs are shortsighted and will undoubtedly cost more in the long run, both in dollars and in cases of needlessly homeless animals," Zine said.

Animal Services General Manager Ed Boks said Thursday that he saw the suspension, announced last week, as a temporary, last-resort budget cut. He said some council members had been informed that this was a possibility.

The motion, which the council is expected to vote on next Friday, also asks for a report on why the Animal Services Spay/ Neuter Advisory Committee -- created by the city ordinance -- was not consulted before Boks suspended the program.

-- Carla Hall 


Anonymous said...

The spay neuter advisory committee was not consulted about suspending the vouchers? What's the point of having the committee if they have no say at all? Just as pointless as the animal services commission if Boks just does what he wants. In fact, might as well get rid of the prop f oversight committee. The dept person in charge of the new shelters just did whatever she wanted.

Anonymous said...

The spay/neuter advisory comittee has one member appointed by each of the council members. Half of them know nothing about spay/neuter and the history in Los Angeles, the current climate and the future. Some do, but half don't. They are only supposed to gather information and report back to the council as to how low income residents are affected and what needs are not being met and how the law is affecting people. The problem is the half that do know about spay/neuter all fought for the MSN ordinance, so they are hardly neutral, any report will reflect their bias to the ordinance. The council isn't happy with them as most don't show up for meetings and they have been late with reports. They are supposed to have a final report by March 31 and then disband. Another stupid, pointless comittee that does nothing.