A Public Forum will be held on Wed., February 17, 2021 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm for the public to give input on the Long Beach Animal Care Services Strategic Plan. The following is an abridged version of No Kill Long Beach's analysis of the Strategic Plan.
According to the February 2021 version of the LBACS Strategic Plan, it is clear that:
1. LBACS continues to reject No Kill. The Strategic Plan does not commit to save all healthy and treatable animals. Instead, it talks about “reducing euthanasia of treatable animals.” Until there are clear performance measures tied to a clear and specific goal to save all healthy and treatable animals, residents can not feel safe if their animal family member somehow ends up at the Long Beach shelter.
2. Rescues will continue to do the shelter’s work. Overburdened and underfunded rescues will continue to be LBACS’ number one method for saving animals, as the City ignores a full adoption program in favor of pushing the work onto rescues. LBACS will also require rescues to sign agreements that they will be required to “support” (earlier drafts of the Plan required “compliance.”)
3. A full adoption program is not a priority in this plan. The Plan sets LBACS up as a transfer facility. Transferring animals to other shelters and rescues is ultimately not in the best interest of LB’s shelter animals. Animals should be placed in loving, forever homes, not bounced from shelter to shelter or shelter to rescue. There is no valid reason not to have a comprehensive adoption program in an animal-loving city like Long Beach.
4. The City continues to use LBACS as a revenue generator to raise money for the General Fund. The Strategic Plan cites a goal of increasing licensing fees by 50% in 5 years. From what we know of the City’s treatment of licensing funds over the past 20 years, all of that money will go to the General Fund, not the shelter. The City that has repeatedly deprived animal guardians in Long Beach of a safe, No Kill shelter where they can rest assured that their pets are safe if they ever end up at the shelter, but it still wants to make them pay to fund the rest of the City.
5. The City denies residents a No Kill shelter, but still wants their money. Even as the City seeks to increase licensing revenue, the Plan discusses an additional extensive fundraising program designed to increase revenues for LBACS (or the City – it’s not clear where the money will go) through donations from the public. This is an insult to the large number of animal-loving residents who asked for a No Kill shelter at numerous City Council meetings over the years.
6. What’s going on with SpcaLA? In January 2020, Councilmember Al Austin asked that the City Auditor audit the operations of SpcaLA in light of the troubling matters like hostile workplace environment discussed at that same meeting. There’s been no mention of that much-needed audit in more than 12 months now. In addition, the City needs to require SpcaLA to report their animal outcomes (adoptions, euthanasias, etc.). SpcaLA is on City land – the people of Long Beach deserve to know what happens to animals housed on City land. None of this is mentioned in the Strategic Plan.
7. LBACS is still not transparent with its animal outcomes. There is no strategic objective or performance measure in the Strategic Plan related to transparency as to the outcomes of animals at LBACS. While progressive shelters are clear as to each of the live outcomes (how many animals adopted, transferred to other shelters or rescue, euthanized, put in foster homes, etc.), LBACS continues to aggregate the outcomes so that the public does not see how low the actual number of adoptions into loving homes that actually take place at LBACS. LBACS needs to publish all of its outcomes (adoptions, euthanasias, return-to-owner, etc.) on its website so the information is accessible to the public.
Click here for the LBACS Strategic Plan and the link for the Feb. 17, 2021 Zoom meeting (external link)
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