Correctly list shelter animals. ALSO lost and found doesn't work!
This petition had 414 supporters
(Be sure to read the updates as this situation will change)
The extra-ordinary disaster resulting from the Valley Fire spread animals across 4 counties. Volunteers, outside vets and agencies, and county employees all worked extremely hard to assure the health and welfare of thousands of animals.
The IT infrastructure of Lake County proved to be inadequate in responding to the problem and has serious consequences.
Thousands of people's homes were reduced to piles of ash and goo beyond recognition. All that they may recover is small burnt relics and if they are incredibly lucky, their family pets. 8 weeks later, fire animals are still being found, poorly documented and the process for reunification has been EXTREMELY difficult, in fact almost impossible for some.
THE ISSUES ARE AS FOLLOWS:
1) Throughout the entire fire response effort, the Lake County Animal Care and Control (LCACC) was listing shelter animals in the ANIMAL ADOPTION category, rather than the ANIMAL SEARCH. Most of the public was looking in the wrong place on their website the entire time!
2) There is a percentage of animals that were never turned into animal control. Some Good Samaritans listed those animals on the county website and other locations. However, the Lake County website does not accept pictures which is the primary means of potential identification, thus ValleyFireAnimals.com database was created to assist which is a completely voluntary community effort to consolidate animal data across Northern California.
3) Facebook groups and Good Samaritans emerged to facilitate further search and rescue efforts after LEAP and LCACC stopped or severely reduced their operations in the valley fire area. Thousands of hours and hundreds of people donated time and resources.
4) Last week our community driven volunteer database ValleyFireAnimals.com was attacked by a malicious hacker. Consequently the public lost the only consolidated searchable database with pictures to look for their animals.
This has a serious, detrimental affects on the welfare of the animals and impedes reunification efforts with their owners.
1) Correctly list shelter animals in the shelter category vs adoption.
2) Please hold ALL animals 10 days minimum. Currently LCACC is violating that law with a 3 day policy on "strays". (The Hayden Act, effective July 1, 1999, expanded this minimum impound time to 6 business days, as specified, and required that the animal be released to a nonprofit animal rescue or adoption organization in certain circumstances, subject to specified exceptions.)
3) Fix lost and found bulletin board. It doesn't function at all now.
4) Allow website users to submit pictures of lost or found animals (ValleyFireAnimals.com should NOT be considered a permanent community source)
5) Color categorization is bananas! Choc point, calico, bro tabby... etc. isn't helpful. Basic colors rather than characteristic pattern is more helpful. Recommended colors will be sent in private email.
6) Don't make the public beg for veterinarian help with medications etc. for animals they adopted that were sick BEFORE leaving the shelter.
When these points are met, the petition will close.
It was a collaborative effort with many people to help with reunification and fix the deficiencies in the "system" so I want to assure you that this request did not come from one person.... but rather many intimately involved in the animal search and rescue.
Bill Davidson, the director of Lake County Animal Care and Control, the Board of Supervisors for Lake County and Governor Jerry Brown were notified before the emergency shelter hold period expired.
PS. Sorry to put you in the hot seat Bill... This problem is bigger than you and the only way I see this changing quickly is to do this petition. Lake County Animal Care and Control is a rural under-funded agency that was ill-equipped to handle the scale of the problem it faced. That said... there is opportunity to improve it beyond the FUNDAMENTALS requested. When the problem is solved, I will close the petition.
If anyone is looking for an animal, please look at this information page for a summary of advice. http://tipsfromsurvivors.org/valleyfirepets
If you wish to remain informed about pets and/or other Valley Fire related information, please subscribe. http://tipsfromsurvivors.org/subscribe
Today: Kimberly is counting on you
Kimberly C needs your help with “Bill Davidson, Director, Lake County Animal Control, Supervisor Jim Comstock,, Supervisor Jeff Smith,, Supervisor Jim Steele,, Supervisor Anthony Farrington, Supervisor Rob Brown, Jerry Brown: Correctly list shelter hold versus adoptable animals ONLINE...”. Join Kimberly and 413 supporters today.