Now this takes the cake!! Leave it to Breeder Barnette to come up with a licensing plan that leaves you with your mouth hanging open! She stopped licensing dogs for King County when she was at Seattle HS. Her excuse, “it cost too much in staff time.” How much time does it take to issue a dog license when you have the owner and paperwork in front of you? Was the real reason to undermine and help “destabilize” King County Animal Control, along with her friend Claire Davis. We all know how important licensing is. Canine rabies is almost non existent because of licensing. Licensing fees help support the budgets of shelters. Yet BB withdrew this important support from her own local shelter system while in Seattle. And speaking of Claire Davis, isn’t she now one of the people starting up BB's mysterious Friends of Los Angeles Animal Shelter that’s going to raise money? Look out Los Angeles. Follow the dollars, Council!
Here’s the broad picture and I’d suggest the Councilmen and the Mayor take a look at the details because this is BB's Blueprint for Disaster. Barnette and her flunky inexperienced Director of Field Operations Mark “Sleazy” Salazar have decided that, since she’s under pressure to bring in license revenue, the best way to do it is to stop all other activities—except emergency calls—and have LAAS officers do ONLY license canvassing for the next three to six months. WHAT?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? That means no humane investigations by the most important employees in the department, no picking up strays and no enforcing laws by officers paid to do this. EXCUSE ME—aren’t those are the reason LA Animal Services exists? Aren’t those what the taxpayers pay for to the tune of $18 million a year? Aren’t those the mandates in the LA Muni Code? So the most important duties of LAAS are gonna be suspended to do licensing? That's like assigning police detectives to write traffic tickets.
You take your highest paid trained officers off their jobs and pay them to ONLY collect licenses eight hours a day door to door. Yes, that is the mandate BB issued. Of course it was done verbally behind a closed door—no written directives by this SNEAKY GM. No News Release telling people that dangerous dogs won’t be removed from their streets for months during mating season while officers are issuing licenses. So two or three days every week, until the budget crunch is over and Council is impressed, at least two officers will ONLY canvas from each shelter. Never mind animal abuse and those pesky starving, neglected and abandoned animals. They are not important in this rush for the gold to impress the bosses. Canvassing pays for itself when it’s done right. But all the canvassers were just fired. If LAAS had a manager who knew the first thing about it and wanted to do it, it can be done for a lot less money than paying well trained and experienced ACO's without the consequences of leaving strays on the streets. If you had that kind of a manager it would be already being done. But it’s not so BB’s in a panic.
Speaking of that, where are all the new and innovative programs BB was supposed to bring to LA for $180,000 per year salary? Any grammar school kid could have come up with this one. I think a grammar school kid wouldn't even buy into this BS.
And what if there aren’t enough officers at a shelter to do this? Some LA shelters don’t even have one extra officer every day. They are supposed to “borrow somebody from another shelter.” And what if there still aren’t two extra officers that day in a department that has less than minimum staffing—then, the order is, “Find a way!” Wow, BB never told them to “find a way” to help animals like Dude and Princess out in the freezing rain or tied out in the burning hot sun. Isn't it HER JOB to find a way? So after they suspend duties to only do licensing, how many officers do we have left from the total 50-some that cover the 469 miles and 4 million people, 24/7?
We were told there isn’t any overtime money in the LAAS budget, but voile la, since BB’s under the gun, money suddenly is falling from heaven (could it be the Mayor’s office or council realizes they have hired an underachiever to say the least and is funding this desperation move?) Even the ADL-LA says there is no money to advertise, so where is the OT money coming for this? Suddenly, they are going to bring in officers on Saturday and Sunday on OVERTIME—so one day the City is so cash-strapped the employees are on furlough and the next they can miraculously get time and a half just to do licensing which hasn’t been done since BB has been there? How does that make financial sense, Council?
ACO’s are not sales people. That’s not their job. But they can be great with animals. That IS their job. That’s why you hire licensing canvassers. BUT, get this people, there’s gonna be a quota and, if they don’t meet it---well, the punishment hasn't been spelled out, but you can be sure it’s there. Maybe a little freeway therapy OR could this also be a plot to fire employees? After all BB is quite well known for firing the "old regime" and that is the battle cry of the "No Kill" movement, out with the old and in with the cult followers. And, of course, there’s no such thing as, “NO, that violates City policy!” We know what happened to the AGM who said that to BB.
I hear LAAS just lost another management analyst whose had enough of her BS already. Barnette has no experience in government, she doesn't know how to do that job, I doubt she could even present a decent budget if Jim Bickhart weren't writing it for her and budget time is upon us. AND, have you ever heard her describe how to license. Think about it. Everytime licensing comes up, she sends in Found Animals Foundation. What’s their experience with licensing? Zilch!!
Wake up Mayor Villaraigosa and City Council. You been had! Cut your losses quick. You may end up with NO animal control when you need them. All you’ll have left is Breeder Barnette and Mark “Sleazy” Salazar. Ugh, not a pretty picture!!!
Are we wondering what triggered this panic by BB? Stay tuned. Part 2 shortly!