The two lines above are part of nearly 900 lines of computer print outs for August, 2001, generated by the City of LB's Animal Control Division and obtained under a state Freedom of Information (CA Public Records Act) request by LBReport.com.
The two lines indicate a black and white four month old cat was killed with a 2 cc injection, and a tan one month old dog was killed by a 1 cc injection, administered by the City of LB.
Descriptions like this fill page after page, day after day. They record the end of nearly 900 dog and cat lives in August, 2001.
At the same time, preliminary figures also indicate the number of dog and cat lives saved from the needle also increased during this period. This is because from within the number of dogs and cats otherwise slated to be killed by City Hall's Animal Control Dept., a noteworthy number were selected by
Data available as of this posting admittedly only reflects the first month of operation at the new facility (it began operating in August) and other variables also make exact comparisons imperfect. LB's Animal Control division began handling animal control service in an additional city, Los Alamitos, in July 2001 and, perhaps more significantly, the new state of the art facility near the 605 freeway may have led some people to conclude -- erroneously -- that it is a "no kill" operation.
It isn't...and never claimed it would be.
In August 2001, LB's City Hall run Animal Control division killed 617 cats and 276 dogs, a total of 893. This compares to 615 cats and 300 dogs, a total of 915, killed in August 2000.
At the new facility, LB City Hall handles Animal Control functions (strays, animal turn ins and killings) while an adjacent facility, independently operated by the LA branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA-LA), handles adoptions.
City Hall's Animal Control division holds the animals for at least the legal minimal number of days. If the dog or cat isn't found and redeemed by its owner during this period (more on this below), LB Animal Control decides whether there are reasons to consider the animal unfit for adoption (example: vicious behavior).
From among those Animal Control does not reject as unfit for adoption,
City data indicate that in August 2001, the first month of operation in LB, SPCA-LA selected 149 dogs and 126 cats for entry into its facility for lengthier holding and possible adoption. This compares to 119 dogs and 88 cats adopted from LB's old Willow St. Animal Control facility in August 2000.
LBReport.com previously reported the story of a stray female dog (pictured at right) picked up by an ELB resident and turned into LB Animal Control. The dog was selected for adoption by SPCA-LA and adopted within days.
However, a large number of dogs and cats, either deemed unfit for adoption by Animal Control or not selected for possible adoption by
LB Animal Control currently services LB, Signal Hill, Cerritos and (since July, 2001) Los Alamitos. With the caveats that August 2001 data reflect the addition of Los Alamitos, and high publicity surrounding opening of the new facility making direct comparisons imperfect, some data are still noteworthy .
In August 2001, an LB Animal Control monthly tally indicates 275 dogs and cats were transferred to SPCA-LA (or occasionally other groups for some exotic animals) for possible adoption. In August 2000, when LB Animal Control handled adoptions at its old Willow St. facility, 207 dogs and cats were adopted.
In other words (ours), the data indicate a net improvement but not a panacea.
[Note: We've limited our comparisons to dogs and cats, but the August, 2001 tally indicates LB Animal Control also transferred 38 "other" animals instead of killing them, which could include less common pets, exotics and the like.]
The data also indicate the number of dogs and cats turned in (by owners or others who find them stray) rose after the new facility opened, perhaps due to owners who assumed animals turned in would not be killed (there is no such guarantee).
In August 2001, the number of dogs turned in more than doubled from a year earlier, jumping from 26 (August 2000) to 66 (August 2001), an increase of roughly 150%. The number of cats turned in also increased but by a lesser amount, going from 30 (August 2000) to 39 (August 2001), an increase of 30%.
Another noteworthy finding: the number of animals redeemed (found by owners) was 93 dogs and 12 cats in August, 2001. This compared to 116 dogs and 13 cats in August 2000.
As previously reported by LBReport.com, old procedures still in use by LB Animal Control (even at its new facility) make it more difficult than elsewhere for owners to reunite with their lost pets. For example, while LB Animal Control requires owners searching for lost pets to come in personally to determine if their lost pet is being held (and the city facility isn't open every weekday), Orange County Animal Control puts color photos of lost dogs and cats on its web site, available to the public 24 hours a day.
As separately reported on LBReport.com, 5th district Councilwoman Jackie Kell has proposed to upgrade LB Animal Control's web site, including the posting of photos of lost dogs and cats. The item will come up at the Council's October 2 meeting. (To view this story, click Jackie Kell Animal Control upgrade).
LBReport.com intends to continue following this story.
We also hope attention to the frequently unreported facts cited above prompts pet owners to act responsibly by spaying and neutering (so their dogs and cats don't make many more) and by ensuring their pets have ID tags or (our preference) implanted ID chips, giving them a voice home.