The Mayor's budget apparently seeks a 10% budget cut of $1.800,000 meaning the present budget of $18 million would drop to $16,200,000, approximately to the pre-Boks level and before all the new shelters were built.

She states that this may entail closing an additional shelter beyond the NE shelter. already closed to the public, but which may now be boarded up and animals sent elsewhere.

She states such a drastic cut could result in an extra 11,000 killings a year, putting total euthanasia at 30,000 for 2010-2011. I would remind everyone that killing is now at 19,000, and total killing was under 16,000 three years ago.

Her statement sent to the Budget Committee:

Closure of Animal Care Centers/26-Working Day Reduction
Consolidating pet intake into fewer facilities is regression to the conditions that the voters of Los Angeles chose to change in approving the Prop F Bond. Consolidation of the animals leads to more disease, over-crowding, incidences of aggression, and inevitably, increased euthanasia.
We acknowledge the financial imperatives behind the proposed temporary shuttering of the Northeast Animal Care Center in 2010-2001 to achieve short-term financial savings. While this facility is not used for the public now, it is generally filled to about 1/3 capacity with evidence and quarantined animals and for nursing mothers with puppies and kittens. It has proven an invaluable resource for temporary holding of animals evacuated in disasters.
Closing Northeast will require evidence and quarantined animals to be housed in kennels and cages at the other six animal care centers which are currently used to promote the adoption of healthy, available animals. This action will trigger the negative domino effect of: reducing City­wide kennel/cage holding capacity, reducing adoption revenue, reducing our live release rates, and increasing our euthanasia rates. The Department's overall holding capacity will drop by about 10%, and euthanasia will increase by about 2,500 to 4,000 animals, depending on intake trends. The reaction of the humane community to this downgrading of progress is unknown.
The $1.8 million (10%) additional cut of 26-working days is an effective cut of 8 Animal Control Officers, 14 Animal Care Technicians, 3 Registered Veterinary Technicians, 4 Clerical Staff, and 2 Supervisors, the equivalent of the staff of one of the six fully operational Animal Care Centers.' The only remaining option that allows for enough staffing to safely provide the necessary levels of animal care and service to the public is to close one Center. The Department will need direction from the Mayor and Council as to which additional Animal Care Center should be closed during the period of time this 26-working day reduction is in effect.
Closing an operating Animal Care Center in addition to Northeast creates an unfortunate situation for the communities we serve. Net holding capacity will drop by at least another 15% and pet euthanasia will rise by 4,000 to 11,000 more pets, depending on intake and the number of animals held as evidence and quarantine, using kennels that would otherwise be available for adoptable animals. Again, we will also lose adoption revenue, and spend more on euthanasia, aggravating rather than alleviating our revenue situation.
The Department cannot reduce its workload by telling residents that services will be cut or by closing our doors. The pursuit of strays and biting animals, the impoundment and care of animals, and the adoption or euthanasia of impounded animals is not discretionary; it is not
' In planning for the possibility of furloughs in the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the Department engaged in a series of studies of workload, intake and adoption trends, hourly and daily activity, and staffing patterns to determine appropriate staffing levels and impacts of work reductions. A key selection of the results is attached. We also conducted a zero-based budgeting exercise for our 2010-2011 budget preparation to determine the staffing and cost of each Animal Care Center and Law Enforcement operational element. More information on these studies can be provided on request. They demonstrate that there are no ways to compensate for losing working days on the part of Animal Control Officers, Animal Care Technicians, and Registered Veterinary Technicians. Any reduction of veterinarian hours merely reduces the number of extra spay/neuter procedures they perform at lower cost than contract veterinarians.

The entire report:


Anonymous said...

This letter shows Ms. Davis's inability to think outside the box, an affliction that seems to affect all LAAS administrators.

Ed Muzika said...

Don't forget, truth aside, she is also trying to protect her budget by projecting a worse possible scenario.

Yes, if you enlist the public and create a great volunteer force, you could compensate.

But volunteer programs are hard to maintain. You need good volunteers who will stick with the dept and learn skills, and you need a good volunteer coordinator and supportive staff, which can be taken over by a volunteer.

But then, you'd need the employees to better accept people covering for layoffs.

Anonymous said...

Simply THINKING outside the box is not enough. One must LIVE outside the box.

Brad Jensen

Anonymous said...

It's easy to say "outside the box" but what do you mean by that? And don't tell me to read Nathan's books to find out. He tells LA they need to provide Animal Services with all the money it needs or else it will fail. So what the hell's "outside the box" about that? Sounds sorta like what Davis is saying.

Anonymous said...

Here's the city's newest idea to raise money for the shelters:

"Los Angeles – LA Animal Services announced on March 17, 2010 that they were reinvigorating the Kennel and Cage Sponsorship Program, expanding it to all six Animal Care Centers across the City. Since the announcement, more than 50 sponsorships have been sold. Along with other cash donations, the Department has received in excess of $53,000 in the past 4 weeks. The money is being put to good use purchasing medical supplies, food and kitty litter to aid the City’s dwindling budget outlook. The department continues to juggle rising expenses to care for the more than 54,000 cats and dogs that were impounded in the past 12 months. Given the City’s bleak financial condition, the Department is issuing a continued plea for financial assistance.
For a $300 tax deductible donation, pet lovers can sponsor a dog kennel or cat cage that will bear an engraved Love Plaque attached to the kennel or cage door at the Center of their choice. Sponsors may choose a variety of verbiage for their plaque, which will remain in place for one year. At the end of the year’s sponsorship, the plaque will then be returned to the donor. Donors may place their names on the plaque or choose to honor deceased or living loved ones, both two and four legged. The Sponsor will also be listed on the chosen Animal Care Center’s webpage for one year to recognize their generous contribution. All donations will directly benefit the animals and will not be used for administrative costs.
'We’re sending out an SOS. We are extremely grateful for the donations we’ve received to date' stated Interim General Manager Kathy Davis. 'We need the public’s continued help to care for these voiceless victims. Any financial support would be greatly appreciated – from dimes to dollars.'"

While it's all well and good to donate to the shelters, the idea that sponsors' "Love Plaques" will hang on the very kennels/cages where innocent animals will be pulled from and killed seems warped. But then again, consider who likely came up with such a morbid idea.

The "animal community" should be sending out an SOS to get rid of the morons in management.