Ed Boks and Council,
Yesterday we learned that Animal Services will no longer be offering spay/neuter certificates to rescue groups or the public, which means that access to low cost and affordable spay/neuters has been cut drastically only months after passing the Mandatory Spay/Neuter law. The feasibility and enforcement of that law was predicated on the ready availability of free or low cost spay/neuter surgeries.
In addition, the non-profits assisting in spay/neuter and Trap/Neuter/Release efforts locally themselves are in severe financial trouble due to the recession and are likely unable to increase their own subsidy of affordable services, especially since much of what they have done depended on City certificates.
This means a large number of Los Angeles residents cannot NOW afford to get their animals fixed, which means marked enforcement problems and creating a new class of criminals out of the low and middle income families.
The City recently opened several spay/neuter surgeries at their own shelters, but at the West Valley, the veterinarian who won the contract, Value Vet, provides spay neuters to the public that are NOT low cost or affordable by any account, because the General Manager of LA Animal Services needed to get those centers open to show he is doing a good job, albeit with a fee schedule that punishes low income families.
For example, here is the Value Vet price list for spay neuters:
Under 25 lbs. $165.00
25 – 50 lbs. $175.00
51 – 75 lbs. $200.00
Over 75 lbs. $280.00
Under 25 lbs. $150.00
25 – 50 lbs. $160.00
51 – 75 lbs. $175.00
Over 75 lbs. $240.00
Cat spay $135.00
Cat neuter $90.00
Incredibly, Linda Barth and Ed Boks are proposing giving the contract for the West Valley shelter to Value Vet also, virtually eliminating affordable spay/neuter services in the West Valley.
It is obvious that the Mandatory spay neuter law will place a discriminatory and unfair burden on lower and now even middle income persons who currently have unneutered animals, and this discriminatory burden is likely to last for at least three years.
Therefore, this law needs to be rescinded, or else the spay/neuter certificates restored.
Lastly, the Value Vet proposal for the West Valley shelter must be denied and a new RFP be sent out. Clinico has responded to the RFP for two other locations and offer spay/neuter surgeries ranging $25 for cat neuters to $55 for large dog spay surgery, at one fourth to one fifth Value Vet’s charges.