"This is for the comfort of our animals, and to make it a friendlier
atmosphere for our employees and visitors," board member Paulette Ramsay
Wood said Monday during a tour of the animal shelter.
Kennels identified in the audit for not being disinfected a minimum of
three times a week are now disinfected daily, and waste is cleaned up on
an as-needed basis.
The sick bay has been improved and expanded, and kennel identification
cards have been added to make identifying animals easier. "It is our
intent to review from the top down or the bottom up, every process that
is undertaken [here]," said Ramsay, who doubles as shelter spokeswoman.
The facility, a converted apartment building at 717 W. Ivy St., has
outgrown its usefulness. There is no room to expand, according to Greg
Elmore, a board member who works as a facilities planner at UCLA.
Eventually, the board hopes to build a state-of-the-art facility. But
that project is still two or three years away, and will require a great
deal of private fund-raising that Wood said has yet to be undertaken.
In the meantime, improvements such as an exhaust system and new
flooring for the Cat Room are expected to pop up within the next 90 days.
The sick bay will be expanded to include an animal clinic, and
volunteers are being recruited to sew pillows for each cat cage.
Additionally, the reception area will eventually be enlarged to
include more visitor seating, and grates will be installed over kennel
gutters to prevent injury, a point of contention in the audit.
Change has been a constant at the shelter since July 2001, when a city
audit uncovered 60 operating issues.
Since the audit, seven of the shelter's nine board members have
stepped down, and the remaining two are expected to do so next month.
Of the shelter's 15 employees, only two were employed prior to the
audit, and most have undergone new training procedures.
To date, 56 of the 60 issues have been resolved and the remaining four
have been addressed according to a staff report prepared for the City
The council is scheduled to vote tonight on a new contract that would
pay the shelter more than $695,000 annually, an increase of more than
$155,000 over the previous contract.
Wood declined to discuss the contract Monday, choosing instead to
focus on facility upgrades and future plans.