Petitioning Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control and 3 others

Repeal the laws you changed which will likely KILL MORE HOMELESS DOGS AND CATS

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**In September 2016, the LA County Department of Animal Care and Control recommended changes to the law, which were passed by the LA County Board of Supervisors, which effectively REDUCE PROTECTIONS FROM EUTHANASIA WHICH PREVIOUSLY APPLIED FOR PETS FOR 6 DAYS FOLLOWING IMPOUND AT THEIR 7 SHELTERS (according to the Code+), and ERASE THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAINTAIN RECORDS COMPLETELY (according to the Code+), these changes and others are hugely detrimental to the animals and will likely result in more death.  With a euthanasia rate of approximately 50%, we are dumbfounded by these measures which were passed under the misleading assertion from Marcia Mayeda, Director of LAC Animal Care and Control, that they would "reunite owners with their lost pets", when the reality is the polar opposite.  We must come together and stand up for the voiceless animals who are not able to do so themselves, in protest of these absurd changes to the LA County Code on animals**

 +Please note, State laws do apply in addition to the County Code, for example dogs and cats cannot be killed within 72 hours of impound unless irremediably suffering according to CA State law, and certain record keeping requirements apply at State level (covering SOME but not ALL of the locally deleted provisions) however we are referring to the stipulations of the Code, which are locally enforceable.

 

Dear Board of Supervisors,

Concerning changes to the County Code on Animals effective September 6, 2016

We are writing to express dire concern for the changes enacted to Title 10 – Animals of the Los Angeles County Code, effective September 6, 2016.  The changes, as recommended by the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (the Department) Director Marcia Mayeda, appear to:

·       Lessen the protection from euthanasia afforded to animals in the custody of the Department

·       Lessen the chance of the reunification of owners with lost pets

·       Promote a ubiquitous lack of transparency within the Department

·       Be driven by increased efficiency and revenue for the Department, but with no regard to providing adequate care for pets in its custody

·       Directly contradict the stated mission of the Department of Animal Care and Control (Appendix C)

·       Contain concerning and even unconstitutional ambiguities

·       Conflict with State law (in places) 

·       Be a product of a misleading representation of the changes to the Board of Supervisors (the Board).

The Board was presented with the Code changes (Appendix B) as per the following directly quoted from the minutes dated September 6, 2016:

Ordinance for adoption amending County Code, Title 10 - Animals, to update and streamline Title 10, provide a better process for regulating excessive animal noise, provide a reduced pet license fee for disabled military veterans, eliminate conflicts with State and Federal laws, eliminate unnecessary language, enhance due process procedures during administrative hearings, expand procedures to reunite lost pets with their owners, and amend most sections using the County’s Plain Language Initiative to make Title 10 more clear and practical for County residents.

The above assertions are a gross misrepresentation of many of the changes that actually were effected.  Herewith (Appendix A), Attorney Marla Tauscher has set forth in detail the changes which provide overwhelming cause for concern not only to the animal welfare organizations expressing such concern, but to the public at large.  In addition, Ms Tauscher has analyzed existing questionable provisions within the Code, such as a lack of a robust procedure for searching the microchip databases; the “extortion” of often unaffordable Board and Care fees (which can amount to hundreds of dollars per animal) from taxpayers whose animals have the misfortune of being impounded at an LA County animal shelter; and the surprisingly lenient provisions on commercial breeding given the pet overpopulation crisis we are facing whereby approximately 50% of pets impounded during 2015 were killed by the Department.  Such provisions are in direct contrast to the stated aims of the Code amendments in “reuniting lost pets with their owners”.

We would like to highlight the following amendments as key examples of our grave concerns:

10.36.080 – The Record Keeping Requirements, which historically applied to the Department, have been deleted in their entirety.  How can there possibly be any valid justification to this; both from the perspective of transparency and accountability of a Government Department, but also pertaining to a core function of the Department in reuniting owners with lost pets; we find this unacceptable and would like to know the rationale behind the decision to eliminate the requirement to keep records at all.

10.36.120 - “An animal that is irremediably suffering or is ordered to be destroyed by the public health officer will not be held for six business days.”  The amendment as highlighted in red completely removes any protection from euthanasia within 6 days of impound which historically was contained in the Code.  It gives the Department unfettered discretion to euthanize an animal under any circumstances, regardless of status as a stray or an owned, micro chipped pet.  We find this abominable and unacceptable.  Furthermore, it does nothing to help reunite owners and pets.

In conclusion, we hope that we have demonstrated satisfactory evidence to warrant the Board instructing a thorough re-review of the County Code, Title 10 – Animals amendments approved on 6 September 2016 as well as other provisions that should have been amended but were not.

 

Yours truly,

Laura Jones, CEO, All About the Animals               

Gretchen Lieff,  President, Davey’s Voice           

Marc Ching, Founder, Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation

Alison Eastwood, Founder, Eastwood Ranch Foundation

This petition will be delivered to:
  • Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control
  • Marcia Mayeda
  • Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
  • Los Angeles County Auditor-Controller

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