L.A.'S Animal Services Department Planning to Cut Valley Dispatch Stations from 2 to 1

By Smith, Dakota | Daily News (Los Angeles, CA), May 11, 2015 | Go to article overview

L.A.'S Animal Services Department Planning to Cut Valley Dispatch Stations from 2 to 1


Smith, Dakota, Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)


Amid staffing shortages at the Los Angeles Animal Services Department, animal control officers will be reassigned in the San Fernando Valley starting next month.

The West Valley's six animal control officers will be dispatched out of the East Valley's division starting June 1, said Mark Salazar, director of field operations at Animal Services.

The move will put more officers in the field and create one central dispatch center, Salazar said.

The West and East Valley divisions are about 11 miles apart.

The consolidation follows widespread complaints about a lack of animal services officers in the city, and comes after the department also moved officers earlier this month from its Harbor field office to South L.A., which sparked anger from some residents in the San Pedro area.

Asked about the Valley move, Animal Services general manager Brenda Barnette wrote in an email: "The short answer is that we are trying to dispatch from one location (rather than two) to put an additional officer in the field.

"Unfortunately people often do not understand that we are actually trying to give them more coverage, better service and to manage our work force better," she added.

The department runs six field offices throughout the city and has a total of 47 animal control officers. The staff work out of offices or in the field, responding to calls about injured dogs or other animal emergencies.

With the recent staffing changes at the Harbor department, officers still serve in the Harbor area but are dispatched to the region from the South L.A. office.

The consolidation means that Harbor-serving officers are spending time driving back and forth to South Los Angeles, said Phyllis Daugherty, an animal activist who has been watching the consolidation. …

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