NO KILL NOW!
Our No-Kill Effort
The Rancho Cucamonga City Council made it official: the shelter and animal control contracts with the County will be terminated on January 31, 2006. The City will run its own no-kill animal services.
This was a foregone conclusion ever since the May 4th council meeting where every member agreed that the County had failed to provide adequate services and violated their mandate to hold impounded animals a minimum of 30 days. It was then the May 18th vote was scheduled.
The Council also approved extending the consultation contract with no-kill consultant, Nathan Winograd. He will now not only show the City how to convert to a no-kill shelter, he will also help with the switch to a new administration and write the policies and procedures. His charges will increase from $12,600 plus expenses (up to $2,000) to $19,000 plus expenses (up to $2,000).
Analyst, Michelle Dawson, offered three ways the City could make the administration transition: a) The council can hire a new shelter director and then add employees and equipment in phases; b) the existing County staff could be retained, a new director could be hired and equipment could be purchased from the County or c) a temporary consultant could be hired until the replacement staff was trained and in place. No decision was made but discussions showed the preference was to clean the slate and bring in all-new staff.
Dawson also mentioned the aspects of transition that must be addressed:
Both Dawson and City Manager, Jack Lam,
said that the cost of the transition could not be determined until Winograd
defines the scope of services. Lam said the budget will likely increase
because the public wants an enhanced program. The current contract
calls for paying the County $62,700 per year for animal control and $305,600
a year for shelter services. The County gets an additional $400,000
annually for license and other fee revenue. Actual figures vary year to year
and are often more.
Mayor, Bill Alexander, pushed for a 'sooner than later' transition. He expressed disappointment that the County had 'copped an attitude' ever since its performance was under review. He was angered by the treatment of animals, violations of "The Hayden Law" and recent reports of abuse towards rescuers and activists.
"I am finding it increasingly difficult to
deal with anyone at the shelter" said
Vikki Shore, director of
No Kill NOW!. I got the ice treatment today. When I
asked why a friendly white cat was in quarantine, I was told that I could
not longer receive any information directly. I'd have to deal with someone
at the City because 'everything that the activists say about us are lies.'
"When it affects the animals, that's when we all need to speak up. This is costing lives. And this conduct hurts taxpayers too. We're not getting the services we're paying for."
Diane Williams, Mayor pro tem, said that she wants to see protocols established as to what the City's expectations are, especially in the area of customer service. Dennis Michael said he supports the transition and wants to make sure that it is done appropriately so that the public expectations are met. Sam Spagnolo made a motion to accept the no-kill consultant's proposals.
Shore said, "This vote didn't expressly state the city-run shelter will be 'no-kill' but every council member has stated that's what they want and you don't hire a no-kill expert to write policies, procedures and job descriptions for a new administration unless that's the direction you are taking.
"The victory of our
petition, Citizens for
No-Kill Shelter Reform is complete thanks to the superb
leadership of our City Council!
"I hope the remaining Inland Empire cities contracting with San Bernardino for animal services listen-up and take similar action. Their problems are far worse than ours and their 'kill-rates' are disgraceful."
No-Kill NOW! P.O. Box 217, Etiwanda, CA 91739-0217
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