Dear Wendy and Eric,
Several years ago, taxpayers voted over $200,000,000 to rebuild LA’s Animal Shelters. Yet, during the past 5 years, despite a new pro-animal general manager, there really has been no progress towards no kill. The current save rate is still about 60%, no better than under Stuckey in 2005. Seven years have passed, hundreds of millions spent on new shelters, more employees added, and absolutely no progress towards no kill.
Nathan Winograd, the nation’s foremost guru on no-kill, and a personal friend of mine, opined that there never will be progress towards no-kill in LA unless two things happen: We have a dynamic, coalition building, Animal Services GM, and whoever the mayor is, that he or she get 100% behind the goal of making LA no kill by backing up that GM with whatever is necessary to make the city no-kill.
The largest problem seems to be the present kill-culture built into our shelter system, without the GM having the power to fire at will as some of the worst employees are both union and civil services protected.
Other cities across the country have gone no-kill even in these economically difficult times, though generally they are much smaller systems. However, their success does show No-Kill can happen.
In fact, if Animal Services were decentralized, served by the seven separate shelters regarded as seven separate animal care systems, run independently, yet cooperatively, perhaps by separate non-profit groups, allowing all current deadwood personal to be laid off or shifted to departments where they could not kill animals, we could perhaps see rapid advances towards no-kill.
Wendy and Eric, I am asking you both, can either of you be that mayor who makes no kill happen in LA by standing behind a truly No-Kill goal and No-Kill General manager, doing whatever is necessary to make No-Kill happen?