Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Animal Control --improvements announced

Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care & Control Enters Third Phase of Multi-Tiered Department Improvement Program




CONTACT:  Marcia Mayeda, Director, 562-256-2406








26 new staff positions and facility funding supports

independent operational assessment recommendations


Long Beach, Calif., August 12, 2008 - The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control today announced it is entering into its third phase of a multi-year department improvement program, established in 2001, to improve the operational effectiveness of the nation's largest animal care and control agency. Los Angeles County has committed an additional 26 animal care staff positions for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.  Additional County support to the department includes $1.7 million in repairs to all six County shelters; $5 million to construct three spay/neuter clinics; and $15 million to improve animal care facilities for the Antelope Valley region, where rapid population growth has placed service pressures on the 1950’s era shelter that it was not originally designed to address.


In 2006 as part of the ongoing improvement program, the Department’s director, Marcia Mayeda, requested an independent review of the Department’s entire operations to objectively assess animal care practices and make recommendations for enhancements.  This comprehensive study, conducted from late 2006 through mid 2007 by Dena Mangiamele, D.V.M., M.P.H, examined operations efficiencies encompassing all six Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control facilities, and developed long term recommendations for further improvement.


“Providing the highest quality animal care and customer service is of utmost importance to the Department and the County of Los Angeles," said Mayeda. "We sought out the expert advice as part of our ongoing improvement process, ensuring constituents that we care deeply about meeting our mission of providing the best care possible for our animals with the resources we have available.  We are extremely pleased to have benefited from Dr. Mangiamele’s expertise, and continue actively working towards addressing her recommendations.”


Mayeda began phase one of the Department’s efforts upon her appointment as Department Director in 2001.  This included a complete overhaul of Department policies and procedures, refocusing the Department’s mission to one that emphasizes animal protection and customer service. 


Phase two of the Department’s efforts began by addressing Dr. Mangiamele’s recommendations, many of which have already been addressed.  These included items that could be immediately remedied through improvements in process and procedural protocols. 


In phase three, the Department began addressing longer-term issues, which are dependent upon additional staffing and funding for facility enhancements. Mayeda plans to continue working with Los Angeles County’s Chief Executive Office and the Board of Supervisors in upcoming budget years to build upon the added staffing and the upcoming funding committed for facility improvements.


Last fiscal year, the Department impounded more than 90,000 animals.  These animals were either abandoned by owners who could no longer care for them, rescued from the streets where they are subjected to illness or injury, or removed from animal cruelty situations of abuse or neglect.  In June 2008, the department seized and provided care and sheltering for 100 horses in an extreme animal neglect situation.


“Seeing animal mistreatment and abandonment is extremely troubling to our staff and volunteers,” said Mayeda.  “This can be a very difficult job, but by working towards improvements and receiving support from the Chief Executive Office and the Board of Supervisors we will continue making a positive difference in the lives of the animals and people of Los Angeles County.”


A summary of Dr. Mangiamele’s recommendations and the department’s responses may be viewed on the department’s website at




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