“However, without a new contract many services that the city is required by law to provide, including bite case management, stray animal pickup and assisting the city with its evacuation plans, can not be provided by LA/SPCA.”
That is only part of the scenario regarding animal control that will affect our city beginning October 1 because the city has not signed a new contract with the LA/SPCA. Do you think this won’t affect you? Read on.
NEW ORLEANS, LA – (September 26, 2010) The Board of Directors of the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA) announced that effective Friday, October 1, 2010 the LA/SPCA’s contract with the City of New Orleans to provide full animal control services will expire. LA/SPCA will be forced to scale back Animal Control services to emergencies only for Orleans Parish residents until a new contract is signed with the City of New Orleans.
“The LA/SPCA continues to face a significant operating deficit because the current contract leaves us with close to $1 million shortfall that we’re forced to cover,” said Ana Zorrilla, LA/SPCA’s Chief Executive Officer. “With the continued increase in costs associated with employment, utilities and insurance, we can no longer rely on the generosity of philanthropic donors to pay for this critical city service.”
In December 2009 the LA/SPCA agreed to provide nine months of full services described in the Cooperative Endeavour Agreement (CEA) with the City of New Orleans for Animal Control Services concluding on September 30, 2010. The reduction to nine months was negotiated with the Nagin administration and was a result of the 10% reduction in funding as compared to the 2009 CEA.
“LA/SPCA is fully committed to working in partnership with the City of New Orleans to provide high quality services for our residents and the animal community,” said Ana Zorrilla. “We are concerned that the 2011 Cooperative Endeavour Agreement has not been enacted. We are hopeful that the City of New Orleans will recognize that animal control services are an essential city service that has to be provided. We don’t want to see animals or our city’s residents suffer.”
LA/SPCA has proposed a new 12-month CEA for 2011 that will provide a full level of animal control and enforcement services. The expiring contract was not funded at a level to provide these services for the entire year. Without the newly proposed budget, LA/SPCA will be forced to scale back services, meaning that the agency will be unable to lead, assist or be involved in any animal evacuation activities, as outlined in the City Assisted Evacuation Plan.
LA/SPCA will continue to provide its humane programs and services as a private non-profit organization, including cruelty investigations, adoptions, humane education and providing shelter and care for the hundreds of homeless animals that enter its doors everyday. However, without a new contract many services that the city is required by law to provide, including bite case management, stray animal pickup and assisting the city with its evacuation plans, can not be provided by LA/SPCA.
“The LA/SPCA’s will continue to fulfill its mission as an advocate for the animals of Louisiana by advancing their welfare, promoting their interests, and fostering the human/animal bond through innovative programs, education, and service. We deeply regret being forced into a position where we are not able to continue to provide the crucial service of Animal Control to Orleans Parish,” said Zorrilla.
The specific outline of services that will be scaled back effective October 1, 2010 are:
- Disaster/Hurricane Assistance: LA/SPCA will not open and operate a temporary shelter for animals during tropical storm conditions or lead the animal side of a City Assisted Evacuation prior to landfall of a major storm.
- After-hours Services: All calls received outside of regular business hours (Mon. – Fri) will be routed to NOPD. This includes weekend and holidays.
- Bite Case Quarantine: Animals that bite humans will need to be held by private veterinarians and billed to the City of New Orleans.
- Stray Animal Collection: LA/SPCA will not actively trap or collect strays roaming the streets in Orleans Parish. We will take in and provide care to strays brought to our shelter by the public and NOPD.
- Intact Dog Ordinance: City of New Orleans will be responsible for enforcement.
- Inspection of stables for mules used as transportation
- Owner requested relinquishment in the field
LA/SPCA will continue to provide the following services out of our commitment to the quality-of-life of our companion animals and our community:
1. Emergency response to humans injured or attacked by animals and emergency response to injured animals between 9 am and 5 pm (Mon. – Fri.)
2. Bite case investigation and management
3. Drop off location for found or unwanted animals 9 am and 5 pm (Mon. – Fri.)
4. Lost and found services
5. Housing and humane care (food, shelter and veterinary care) for animals brought by the public
6. Adoption and re-homing of cats and dogs
7. Humane euthanasia and cremation for unadoptable animals
Zorrilla and the Board will be reaching out to neighborhood associations and community residents to respond to any concerns and outline the essential services the organization continues to provide to residents. Headquartered in New Orleans, the LA/SPCA manages a total operating budget of $4.2 million and employs more than 60 full-times employees and hundreds of unpaid volunteers serving in a variety of capacities. The LA/SPCA shelters over 6,500 homeless animals each year. An additional 6,000 animals receive veterinary care via its community clinic and 3,300 students participate in Humane Education afterschool and summer programs through the LA/SPCA.
The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is an organization devoted to improving the lives of animals and eliminating the homelessness, neglect and abuse that signal animal suffering. Chartered in 1888, our history has been paved with an understanding that only through an improved human-animal ethic can we better the lives of companion animals and that of our community. Our programs and services are infused with the highest standards of care and compassion.