LA City Councilman Paul Koretz is looking for options to fully fund the animal services department amid staffing shortages
Two shelters in the city remain inoperative due to a lack of staff
Council Member Koretz recently introduced a motion requesting a report from the Department of Animal Services, CAO, CLA, and other relevant departments and stakeholders to determine the Department’s budget requirements to fully staff all seven animal shelters. city animals, including programmatic and departmental administrative needs. .
The Department of Animal Services (LAAS) is one of the few city departments whose staff are directly responsible for the care of living beings, and for the 2022-23 financial year it received only sufficient funds from the General the city to fully operate four animal sanctuaries, despite having to operate six. The City and DAS have had to deal with periodic outbreaks of COVID-19, causing staffing shortages and hampering the coverage needed to properly care for animals in shelters.
“While the Department has been able to maintain a high rate of live release, particularly for dogs and cats, the Department has not been able to secure the budget it needs for staffing” , Council Member Koretz said. “This summer our shelters, volunteers and animals have felt the brunt of staff shortages and we need to address this through formal budgeting. This motion is the first step in identifying long-term sustainable solutions and relief for our shelters and animals. While the current problems are more acute, this is a department that has NEVER been adequately budgeted.
The motion asks city departments to report within 60 days to city council. Some of the options suggested include reviewing a percentage of annual expenditures from the City’s General Fund, exploring funding options including parcel tax, sales tax, general bonds to meet funding targets and the possible creation of an oversight committee.
In related news, Los Angeles Animal Services announced that it will also be partnering with Wallis Annenberg PetSpace to launch a two-pronged approach to help ensure that the more than 1,000 dogs currently in city shelters get rich and are exercising every day, and animals are finding homes faster.
First, beginning September 1, PetSpace will fund two new Canine Enrichment Coordinator positions within LA Animal Services. Second, also in September, PetSpace will launch a six-month program of conducting weekly neuter/neuter surgeries at their Playa Vista facility for LA Animal Services pets. (LA Animal Services animals must be neutered before they can be adopted.)
PetSpace’s support will enable LA Animal Services to engage Dogs Playing for Life (DPFL), one of the nation’s most respected and progressive canine behavior programs, with a mission to improve the quality of life for dogs of refuge in order to increase their rescue. Additionally, DPFL has proven measures on the life-saving benefits of “playgroups” for kennel animals, and methods of training staff and volunteers in establishing and conducting these continuous enrichment activities.