Mayor Garcia is busy revising history on his Facebook page, saying in the last election, he promised to lower euthanasia rates at the shelter. That's not exactly it. At all. He actually promised to increase adoptions. If Garcia is trying to be an underachiever, he's really nailing it. In the year after he made that promise, the progress in adoptions was glacial. You almost have to TRY to not to do adoptions to do the lamer-than-lame job he has done on increasing adoptions. We responded to this on his page with the open letter below.
So far, no response. Shocker.
With all due respect, Mayor Robert Garcia, you didn't just promise to lower euthanasia rates - as lbreportdotcom reported back in 2014, you promised to build a strong adoption program, which to most folks means you'll increase adoptions.
Specifically, you said: "..One thing that Ted and I discussed, I'm really happy that the shelter is doing, is we're hiring this full time adoptions coordinator for the shelter, which I think is great...This person and their job is going to be first of all to view how do we build a strong adoptions program...We have obviously on the SPCA side is we have the adoption work that they're doing every single day, and we also have some adoption work that's being done currently at the shelter through our volunteers and the great staff we have there. But this person is going to be tasked also in how do we strengthen, grow and develop this adoptions program so we have a really strong adoptions program at the shelter. I'm really excited about that and I hope you guys are all excited about that too because I think it's going to make a difference..." http://www.lbreport.com/news/oct14/nokill.htm
Yet, in 2015, the year you said adoptions would increase, LBACS only adopted out 68 more animals than it did the prior year.
The "full-time adoption coordinator" position fell flat - how is it that with a full-time adoption coordinator on staff, LB's shelter only did 471 adoptions in 2015 while Sacramento's did more than 4400?
Instead of making changes to put animals into good homes, you've moved toward band-aid like strategies that put the animals into other shelters, which is just passing the buck, and it's harmful to the animals, who should be going to homes, rather than to longer stays in shelters and rescues. You might not be aware of this, but longer lengths of stay in shelters correlate highly with higher mortality rates. This is because animals often get sick in the shelter. They shouldn't be shuttled around - they need to be adopted into homes, like many other city shelters do.
When our shelter is killing 2400 animals a year, we can't afford to ignore adoptions. We can't afford to ignore any positive solutions.
I hope you'll reconsider the direction you've taken on this issue, especially since you promised more than 200 animal advocates in that Town Hall Meeting back in 2014 to "build a strong adoption program." People who voted for you for this issue deserve better representation, and our shelter animals deserve a better chance.
An initiative to make Long Beach a No Kill community.