Pat West - laughing his way to the bank on his 6-figure taxpayer funded salary while shelter pets die - lets rescues do the heavy lifting in Long Beach. Again.
The big story in animal welfare in LB right now is SpcaLA's heartlessly removing young puppies from an LBACS-impounded pittie and leaving her alone to face a near certain death. This is just the most recent lethal insult to LBACS shelter animals and just one of many that happen each and every day and lead to the killing of thousands of animals a year.
When Stayin' Alive Long Beach started publishing LBACS' kill numbers and calling for shelter reform in LB 3 years ago, the rescue community rushed to the animals' aid, doubling their own intake and saving hundreds of animals from death at the shelter -- in effect, doing the City's job on shoestring budgets, trying to balance work and family duties while working themselves literally to the bone to help animals and keep them from being killed at the shelter.
It still wasn't enough - with the killing machine fueled by the LBACS/SpcaLA "partnership" (collusion is more accurate) in place, thousands of animals still face their last day looking at the sharp end of a euthanasia needle.
Now the rescuers are doing the City's job again - calling for the SpcaLA to stop its cherry picking of LB shelter animals and share their wealth with LBACS.
However, the biggest issue with SpcaLA is not the lack of sharing. According to a meeting we had with LBACS manager Ted Stevens early in our fight, it's the fact that SpcaLA has a stranglehold on City Manager Pat West, vehemently fighting any attempt by our city shelter to have a strong adoption program.
The bottom line, if Stevens is to be believed, is that Pat West is whipped by SpcaLA President Madeline Bernstein (as one rescuer put it) and has been for almost a decade. This has resulted in literally tens of thousands of animals dying at our shelter. And Mayor Garcia watches on from his Superman lookout and nods approvingly.
The good news is - the rescue community is ready to speak out. Rescuers are doing the City's job again (and again and again) and taking their protest to SpcaLA's facebook page.
That is great, and we hope they continue. However, if anyone is equipped to stand up to the insidious, money-grubbing, profiteering-on-the-backs-of-shelter animals SpcaLA, wouldn't it be the City Manager and Mayor of the 7th largest city in California? They have the resources - attorneys, political influence and legislative power - to make the shelter strong and counter SpcaLA's selfish influence. But they don't.
And there are those in the rescue community who still defend the City and LBACS management in spite of the fact that they cave each and every day to the SpcaLA profit machine. And kill thousands of animals while doing it.
Pat West makes nearly $340,000 a year in salary and benefits paid by the taxpayer. Mayor Garcia is living the life of a figure-head celebrity, doing little more than give speeches and congratulatory slaps on the back, while pushing for tax increases and increased regulation on the people of Long Beach. City Council does the same. Our City should be the ones fighting this fight, instead of leaving it to a bunch of exhausted, compassionate and financially-strapped rescuers to defend the animals yet again.
People in the animal welfare community and all people who have had enough of the killing need to go to City Council and express their outrage. They need to hold sit ins and protests to educate the public about what's going wrong at our shelter. They need to flood City Council's e-mails and Facebook pages and tell them we've had enough of our money being used to kill animals. They need to notify the Press and sit outside of City Hall, where Pat West, Mayor Garcia and City Council have their offices, until the press come and until Mayor Garcia is embarrassed enough to take the issue seriously.
Failing that, thousands more animals will continue to be killed in our city shelter.
An initiative to make Long Beach a No Kill community.