The Long Beach animal shelter numbers are in, and while there has been some small improvement, LBACS still lags far behind progressive shelters in cities like Austin and Sacramento in lifesaving, killing more than 1600 cats, dogs, puppies and kittens in 2016. (By comparison, Austin saved 95% of their shelter animals, and Sacramento did over 5,000 adoptions in 2016, while Long Beach saved only 74% of animals and did only 579 adoptions).
These are the numbers you will never see or hear from Mayor Garcia or LBACS.
Typically, Mayor Garcia likes to talk about decreases in impound and euthanasia numbers, and he completely leaves out adoptions, fosters, the missing, or even the numbers transferred to SpcaLA, which remains unaccountable to the public and firmly against No Kill.
Tomorrow, Jan. 28, LBACS will hold its annual Open House, and this time Mayor Garcia will be in attendance, no doubt to “handle” recent complaints coming out of the rescue community and to reassure everyone, as he did in 2014, that things will get better at LBACS -- unfortunately, we have seen little change in adoptions in the past 2 years.
Here are some things Mayor Garcia won’t tell Long Beach's animal lovers, but that you should know:
While there has been a decrease in euthanasias, it has not been anywhere near as large as what Mayor Garcia will tell you, as he employs his own version of “alternative facts” to justify the shelter’s poor performance. For example, he'll tell you that euthanasias decreased for dogs by 27% - a large percentage. The truth is, when you look at adult dogs – not including puppies, which Mayor Garcia does and which inflates the number - 17% were killed in 2015 and 15% were killed in 2016. That’s a 2 percentage point decrease, not the 27% that Mayor Garcia wants people in Long Beach to believe. And while Mayor Garcia and LBACS work to deceive you about the numbers of animals killed, LBACS killed 437 dogs and puppies last year, while they adopted out only 286. The number of kittens killed was an astonishing 816, and cats killed were 409.
Adoptions overall increased slightly, but the total number of adoptions, at 579, is extremely small, especially when compared with the over 5000 adoptions Sacramento’s shelter did, with over 700 happening in the last 2 months of 2016 alone.
One last thing we doubt you'll hear from Mayor Garcia is any mention of LBACS' illegal killing of Thor, a dog who had an adopter and a rescue group willing to take him in. The city has callously dismissed complaints lodged with the City Attorney about his killing, which violated the Hayden Law. The city clearly has no intention of being accountable to the public with regard to these facts, nor of holding LBACS accountable for breaking the law.
One point of note is the fact that Garcia has requested an audit of LBACS, in an oddly cheery letter that contradicts the reason for an audit in the first place. This letter was issued on the same day that rescue groups fiercely complained about the pending killing of shelter animals. Since we are 18 months away from the next mayoral election, it appears that the Mayor is looking toward re-election. Some of you may remember how Mayor Garcia used the shelter animals to get elected. Given his wholesale abandonment of our shelter animals after he took office, Mayor Garcia should not be re-elected unless he means to keep his promises to make real and lasting change at the LBACS shelter.
Please keep these facts in mind when you hear Mayor Garcia trumpeting the "good news," which in reality, is just more "business as usual" at our city's low-performing shelter. The people of Long Beach need to hold him accountable for Thor's death, low adoption numbers, and his "alternative facts" about the shelter's disappointingly slow progress. It’s more smoke and mirrors to keep folks quiet, while animals continue to be killed at our shelter, using our taxpayer dollars and in our name.
Please share and let your elected officials know that this is unacceptable.
How Can You Help?
The animals need you to be their Voice.
Tell them to stop killing in our name, using our taxpayer dollars.
Tell them that we want a shelter that reflects the compassionate and humane values of the people of Long Beach.
Please speak out now. Here's how:
Write to your City Council Member - Contact Info here
Speak at City Council during Public Comment
Join us on our Facebook Page
An initiative to make Long Beach a No Kill community.