Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz called Friday for sweeping changes at the city’s Animal Services department, including regular walks for dogs, better handling of sick animals who face euthanasia and a mediation process for volunteers.
Koretz, who is running for city controller, released a 46-page report that he called a “road map” of recommendations to help the thousands of dogs, cats and other animals that come through the city’s six shelters each year.
The report, which was sent to Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City Council, followed Times articles about inadequate care for animals at the shelters. Volunteers and staff have accused the department of understaffing and mismanagement, describing long wait times for dogs to get taken out of kennels and shelters running out of rabbit and guinea pig food.
Volunteers, whom the city relies on for basic care of the animals, have also been dismissed after speaking to the media and criticizing the department.
“What is clear is that Animal Services is in need of much more personnel and a drastic increase in its funding,” Koretz said, adding that a lack of money was a “chronic budget issue” that can be addressed by the mayor and City Council. Koretz chairs the committee that oversees animal issues.
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