CALIFORNIA—On August 16, Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz introduced a motion at for the city to allot more funding to improve the conditions of the six animal shelters in Los Angeles County. Koretz points out that the underfunding of Animal Services directly affects those they are responsible for.
“Animal Services is one of the few city departments whose staff is directly responsible for the care of living beings. As such, while the city has played a national leadership role with regard to animal welfare policy over the last couple of decades, a more reliable manner of funding DAS should be a priority going forward,” the motion notes.
Tuesday’s meeting was a follow-up from a July emergency session after reports of living conditions for the animals. A complaint was made by a caller about filthy rabbit and guinea pig cages.
The Chief of Los Angeles Animal Services claims the conditions were due to an employee shortage.
Reports indicate dogs were in overcrowded kennels and not walked on a regular basis. Some had not been walked for weeks or even months..
“This summer our shelters, volunteers, and animals have felt the brunt of staffing shortages and we need to address this issue through formal budgeting. This is the first step to identifying sustainable long-term solutions and relief for our shelters and animals. While the current problems are more acute, this is a department that has never been provided with an adequate budget,” Koretz stated.
City Councilmember John Lee seconded the motion stating his concern for the animals noting: “It is imperative that we as a city are doing everything we can to properly care for and protect the well-being of animals.”
City personnel indicated it’s an ongoing problem with funding only enough to sustain four animal shelters, not six. One member advised that, former Mayor Eric Garcetti could shoulder some of the blame for the shortages.
Koretz asked the LA Department of Animal Services, and all departments, stakeholders, and those who hold an interest in the day-to-day operation of the Los Angeles Animal Services (LAAS) to report the estimated on the percentage of the city’s annual General Fund expenditures necessary to fully staff the shelters and expand operational hours. The Los Angeles City Council will explore all additional funding options including sales tax and using general obligation bonds.
Los Angeles Animal Shelters are seeking volunteers, fosters, monetary donations, donations of towels, cat litter, dog, and cat food. Animal Services is hiring Animal Care Attendants Kennel Attendants, Animal Care Specialists, Receptionist, Customer Care Liaison, Veterinarians, and Animal Control Officers. If interested visit LAC-Jobs or the Los Angeles County website.