Animal Advocacy Group "Stayin' Alive Long Beach" Files Second Complaint With City Attorney, Alleges LB Animal Care Services Violated State Laws In Euthanizing A Dog By Using A Pre-Euthanasia Sedative Recommended For Use Only With An Anesthetic; Failed To Allow Enough Time For Sedative To Take Effect; Failed To Keep Accurate Records Of The Procedure 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.
(Sept. 15, 2016. 8:10 p.m.) -- The animal-advocacy group Stayin' Alive Long Beach has filed a second complaint with the Long Beach City Attorney's office, alleging that the City's Animal Care Services bureau, which is in charge of the city's animal control/animal shelter operations, violated state laws by euthanizing a dog (that its first complaint alleged was awaiting adoption) by using a pre-euthanasia sedative that the Humane Society of the U.S. recommends for use only with an anesthetic, failed to allow sufficient time for the sedative to take effect, and failed to keep accurate records of the procedure.

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The group bases its allegations in both its first and second complaints on internal LBACS records obtained under the CA Public Records Act. In response to the first complaint, Animal Care Services manager Ted Stevens told that the time recorded didn't reflect the actual euthanasia time because staff entered the time into the system electronically on return to the office after the procedure was performed. Stayin' Alive says in its release that the City Attorney's office responded to the group's first complaint by indicating it didn't believe LBACS had acted in violation of the Hayden Act (a California statute.)

The group's second complaint cites LBACS records in alleging that LBACS didn't allow sufficient time for a sedative to take effect and on that basis violated the "Hayden Act" (CA Civil Code 1854) which states: "A depository of living animals shall provide the animals with necessary and prompt veterinary care, nutrition, and shelter, and treat them kindly. Any depository that fails to perform these duties may be liable for civil damages as provided by law."

The group cites the Humane Society of the United States' Euthanasia Manual as calling the sedative used by LBACS (acepromazine) only "conditionally acceptable" as a pre-euthanasia sedative because of its "failure to provide sufficient pain relief." It says the HSUS recommends it be used "only in conjunction with a drug with true anesthetic properties."



The group's second complaint disputes the explanation that the records' recorded euthanasia time, 1:05 p.m., was after the actual euthanasia took place because, LBACS says, staff recorded it electronically when it returned to the office after the euthanasia was performed. Stayin' Alive alleges that the dog's medical records indicate that he was given the sedative at 1:02 p.m. (The complaint states that other LBACS medical records indicate that a number of ACS employees do record the exact times at which a treatment or assessment is performed (which the group says is proper and required by California law.)

The group's second complaint also states that it's illegal for animal shelters to maintain inaccurate records of animals they hold in custody, ("All public pounds and private shelters shall keep accurate records on each animal taken up, medically treated, or impounded," citing Food and Agr Code section 32003, Hayden Act section 18.

Reached for comment on the second complaint, LBACS Manager Ted Stevens tells he will be working with the City Attorney's office on a response. Mr. Stevens reiterated that the time stamp to which Stayin' Alive refers on the released document is when the information was entered into the system electronically and doesn't necessarily reflect when the actual action happened...and said he may be able to comment further next week.



Stayin' Alive Long Beach's second complaint requests an immediate investigation into how LBACS handles euthanasias; immediate implementation of humane methods of sedation and euthanasia consistent with those set by animal welfare organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States; an investigation of this dog's euthanasia with appropriate disciplinary action plus corrective actions.

Stayin' Alive Long Beach describes itself [release text] as "an initiative whose ultimate goal is to make Long Beach a no kill city, conventionally defined as a 90% save rate, or saving all but animals but those who are irremediably suffering. Stayin' Alive Long Beach accomplishes this by advocating for the implementation of the No Kill Equation: responsible, humane, cost-effective policies and programs that will reduce the shelter population and increase adoption rates."




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