The City of Los Angeles seems to be doing it right. If you drive up Sepulveda Blvd. in West LA where it crosses Santa Monica Blvd., you'll see colorful, attractive, banners advertising the benefits of adopting, spaying and microchipping. They also feature an easy-to-remember URL that people can go to if they want to adopt - www.lacitypets.com. Take a look at the LA Animal Service's site and the Long Beach Animal Care Services site side by side and the difference is remarkable. The LA website has animals up front and center. A photo of a smiling mayor with a dog and positive messages like "Adopt the Love of a Companion" immediately jump out at you. Helpful articles about how to deal with common behavioral issues are easy to find. (When people know how to successfully deal with issues that arise with their pets, they're more likely to keep them and less likely to take them to the shelter). What do you get at the Long Beach shelter's site? The law enforcement tone is unmistakable. No one is saying we don't need enforcement, but the enforcement aspect seems almost heavy-handed.
One of SALB's consistent messages is that if you engage in progressive, informed shelter practices, you can increase the adoption rate of animals. One easy way to do this is to make it easy for people to find the animals. An attractive, inviting website that highlights the benefits of adopting from shelters would go a long way to improve the plight of shelter animals in Long Beach. Come on, Long Beach - we can do better! Let the shelter know you support a more adoption-friendly website - it's a step in the right direction for the people and pets of Long Beach.
Bruno needs a home. A368406 (LBACS)
The Signal Tribune has published Stayin' Alive Long Beach's letter to the editor. Read it here.
This cat needs a home - ID number A465348
SALB has asked Ted Stevens, Acting Direct of LB Animal Care Services, to make it easier for the public to adopt the animals that are in the greatest need - those that reside on the Animal Care Services side of the shelter. Stevens' response was favorable and though it fell short of a firm commitment, SALB has high hopes that he will implement these changes, which can be made at no cost to the city but are an important first step in improving the adoption rate of animals at the shelter. Stayin' Alive Long Beach has asked LBACS to do the following:
1. Post a prominent link to a volunteer application and a picture of a cute dog or cat with a link to other adoptable animals on the home page of the LBACS website. Right now, it is buried deep in the 35th FAQ - trying the patience of even the most motivated potential volunteer or animal adopter. Making it easy for people to find the animals and to volunteer is an essential step in increasing the adoption rate.
2. Make LBACS animals "Number One." Move the link to the ACS "adoptable animal photo gallery" to the top of the "how to adopt" page. Currently, the animals that are slated to be destroyed -- the LBACS animals -- are getting last consideration.
3. Clarify adoption procedures for LBACS animals. The information about how to adopt from the ACS side is unclear and increases the public's perception that it is difficult to adopt from the ACS side. It also does little to encourage the public to adopt the animals that have the greatest need. The website appears to encourage adoptions from the SPCA side, and seems to be saying that adoptable animals on the ACS side are not readily available for, or unworthy of, adoption. Meanwhile, the longer these animals remain on the ACS side, the less adoptable they become (especially the cats). Calling them cast-offs also creates an unnecessarily negative image.
4. Increase signage at the shelter. Have volunteers and/or signs showing people on the grounds that there are adoptable animals on the City side. Currently, it is not clear that animals are available for adoption on the ACS side of the facility.
Stayin' Alive encourages the public to check the LBACS websitefrequently and contact LBACS to voice your support for making No Kill a reality in Long Beach.
Stayin' Alive Long Beach believes that much of the change we desire as a community can be accomplished by working smarter and harder to find homes for shelter animals - why not take care of the easy things first?
Stayin' Alive Long Beach is very happy to report that Long Beach Animal Care Services' (LBACS) Acting Director Ted Stevens has made an operational decision to not euthanize any adoptable cats and dogs on Monday, June 11th. The decision was announced in the April 27th issue of the Signal Tribune. Although the animal shelter is closed that day, we are encouraged to see that Director Stevens appears to be open to the idea that No Kill could be achieved in Long Beach. This is excellent news for the shelter animals of Long Beach. Although Stevens has agreed not to kill any adoptable dogs and cats on June 11th, he declined to sign the national pledge (www.justoneday.ws), citing a lack of authority to do so. SALB would like to see LBACS sign the pledge in 2013, and further, to make extra efforts on that day to place those healthy and adoptable animals in homes.
An initiative to make Long Beach a No Kill community.