LB Animal Shelter Says It Killed Fewer Dogs & Cats In 2016 Than Ever Before, A New Record...But No-Kill Stayin' Alive LB Notes Shelter Took In Fewer Dogs/Cats Meaning Only Single Digit Drop In Rate Of Killings, Blasts City Mgm't & Mayor Garcia, Urges City Adoption Program is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(January 9, 2017, 5:40 a.m.) -- On Friday Jan. 6, the City of LB's Animal Care Services Bureau issued a release announcing that it had achieved another record with fewer cats and dogs euthanized (killed) in 2016 than in 2015 or ever before: 717 fewer dogs and cats killed in 2016 compared to 2015, a reduction of nearly 27% for dogs and 31% for cats, while acknowledging that over 1,100 fewer cats and dogs were impounded in 2016 than 2015, a 15% reduction.

The City Hall release noted:

[City release text] Compared to five years ago in 2011, euthanasia for dogs and cats is down 70%, representing over 3850 fewer dogs and cats euthanized.

2016 live release rates of over 85% for dogs and 54% for cats compared to only 83% for dogs and 54% for cats in 2015. The live release rate in 2011 was only 72% for dogs and 20% for cats.

The Live Release Rate is the percentage of animals that come to the shelter and leave with a positive outcome such as return to owner, adoption or transfer to a rescue organization.

By Sunday afternoon Jan. 8, the no-kill advocacy group Stayin' Alive Long Beach had uploaded a Facebook dispatch (at this link) noting that since LB's Animal Shelter had impounded fewer dogs and cats in 2016 than in 2015, the rate at which it killed the reduced number of impounded animals had only decreased by single digits. It blasted the City's methodology, accusing city management and Mayor Robert Garcia of "a continued campaign against honesty, decency and accountability in their ongoing attempt to pull the wool over the public's eyes" charging that "for those of you interested in transparency, the City continues to manipulate statistics...[by saying in its press release] that they've reduced killing of dogs by 27%, when in fact, the kill rate for dogs in 2015 was 17% and was only 2 percentage points lower than that at 15% in 2016. Using the alternate method doesn't take into account the INTAKE numbers and yields a much larger percentage, which is why Mayor Garcia uses it."

[Scroll down for further.]

But what about the fact that fewer dogs and cats were killed in 2016 compared to 2015 or ever before?

[Stayin' Alive Long Beach text] Is LBACS doing better? Yes - but only because horrible is slightly better than horrifying...

Designed to perpetuate the myth that LBACS is "doing great" and does not need reform, the press release talks about decreases in impounds and euthanasias, but remains tellingly silent about the pitifully small number of adoptions the shelter does, even after Mayor Garcia promised, in front of 200 animal advocates, to increase adoptions...

Here are the facts that Mayor Garcia will NOT tell you in his press release:


  • LBACS killed more than 400 dogs and puppies in 2016 -- many of these completely adoptable -- by not providing appropriate enrichment (Manager Stevens has admitted that there is no protocol for walking dogs at LBACS) and then mislabeling them as having severe or manageable behavior problems and killing them.

  • LBACS killed nearly 1200 cats and kittens in 2016 alone, and though the most significant progress the City has made has been in this area, it is still not enough: LBACS is still killing kittens hand over fist every kitten season due to its refusal to have a viable adoption and foster program.

  • LBACS did fewer than 600 adoptions in 2016, while Sacramento did over 4400.
  • The real question isn't "Is the shelter doing better?" It's "Why has the shelter only done under 600 adoptions in 2016 when they killed more than 1600 animals?"

    Why isn't our shelter doing a significant number of adoptions?


    Computer Repair Long Beach

    Stayin' Alive Long Beach recommended going "to City Council to tell the Mayor and council you want an adoption program at our city shelter. Let people know the facts about the non-existent adoption program at LBACS. Don't let Mayor Garcia and Pat West distort the truth about what is happening to our shelter animals. Our shelter animals need US to be their voice."

    Stayin' Alive Long Beach has reasons to be especially displeased with Garcia: it endorsed him over others for Mayor in 2014. After a year in office, the group had given Garcia a Report Card with a "D" in "Lifesaving Promises" and "Fs" in both "Campaign Promises" and "Transparency." The Report card's "F" in "Campaign Promises" criticized Garcia for not visiting the Sacramento animal shelter after publicly committing to do at an Oct. 2014 public meeting [attended and reported by at this link.] "The Mayor's inaction showcases his lack of genuine concern for the plight of the thousands of Long Beach's shelter animals that perish in our shelter every year," it said.



    Then in Feb. 2016, after the group learned that Garcia [perhaps stung by its 2015 "Report Card"] had quietly visited the Sacramento shelter in. Jan. 2016, the group hit Garcia for not saying so publicly: "Mayor Garcia facebooks his every moment - why not this one? We're guessing he doesn't want to be held accountable for putting into place the programs he saw so well in evidence at Front Street [in Sacramento]. If people don't know he went, then they can't hold him responsible for doing the work he said he'd do -- increase adoptions at the Long Beach animal shelter. Instead, late last week [Jan. 2016], his media team went into high gear hyping the performance of the low-performing LB animal shelter, talking about reduced impounds and euthanasias, but saying nothing about the pathetic performance on adoptions in 2015 -- the year that Garcia was going to change everything and increase adoption rates significantly -- or so he said...")

    And the group included a candid mea culpa: "We're sorry, Long Beach - we asked you to vote for Mayor Garcia because he said he would help our shelter animals. Instead, he's put all of his influence behind maintaining the status quo. Our shelter animals deserve better." (For full its full webposting, click here.



    By way of context, thinks two other points are worth noting: compared to previous years, LB's Animal Shelter management does cooperate now with independent rescue groups and individuals (apart from its formal arrangement with SPCA-LA), a major change from previous years under previous city management. The collective result has almost certainly contributed to reducing the number of shelter deaths.

    And also worth noting is what may turn out to be a big part of this story: the extent to which the fewer number of impounded dogs and cats may be the result of spay neuter and education programs advanced for years by Friends of Long Beach Animals, Fix Long Beach and others, and now amplified by the LB City Council's spay neuter law [over the objections of dog show operators including the American Kennel Club and others likeminded.] It's not immediately clear without drilling into the data, but those collective efforts might be part of the reason why LB's shelter took in fewer dogs and cats: it may be because fewer dogs and cats have ability to make more dogs and cats.


    In its release, LB Animal Care Services quotes Mayor Garcia as acknowledging, "Through community engagement and partnerships with nonprofit groups, we've been able to reduce animal overpopulation and give more pets homes" and the release text says LBACS "achieved its best year thanks to all the hard work of staff, volunteers, partner groups, local rescues and the entire Long Beach community."

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