A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

May 2, 2010

Shame on LA City

I can't help thinking that it has become a trend to focus us on the evils of Wall Street so we don't see the overspending, mismanagement and the wasting of assets brought about by our own city officials. Sure - narcissistic greed combined with an ethical void in the investment sector produced a disaster of monumental proportions, but - using that to cover up and misdirect our attention away from bad fiscal management in the cities and states compounds the insult, and averts our gaze from those who should face the consequences.

The City of Los Angeles is a good example. It is in a dire financial situation. Who was minding the store? The officials admit overspending and ask for sacrifices. Heads of departments say they could have managed better and promise to do so later. They want to hide behind Goldman Sachs. Yet they have the gall to ask our pets to suffer and to die for their malfeasance. They will cut the animal control budget leaving no "later" for our pets.

Animal control is never a priority. No one wants to see this issue and our pets can't complain. They suffer, ache, bleed and love us anyway. And we let them die. Cutting this budget and the way they propose to cut it does not augur well for our future, nor should it inspire confidence in our leaders. They propose to close a facility used for very sick animals and those that need to be held for reasons not purely stray control - like court cases or police action. Those animals will take up cage space needed by those looking for homes. And the very the sick? Do they have no chance at all or are they housed with, and therefore infect the rest of the population? They propose to cut 8 animal control officers - they are the revenue generators of the department! Brilliant. They propose to cut 14 animal care technicians and 3 veterinary technicians which would suggest that the animals will not receive the care and comfort needed to stay healthy and strong. There's more - but the end result is not only more euthanasia, but more over crowding and suffering before they die. Even if you believe cuts are necessary - which i am not saying- is this the best and the most intelligent way to do it?

I suggest, that rather than asking our pets to contribute their lives to alleviate the budget crisis - we ask those officials who mismanaged and caused the crisis to pay with their jobs. Budget solved!

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