For the animal welfare community Kevin James is the type of candidate they wish they could duplicate over and over. Not only is he an animal lover who is owned by his special needs rescue Lisa-Marie, he is a candidate with a plan to change animal welfare practices in the nation’s second most populous city.
James is a candidate that “gets it” when it comes to animal welfare as evidenced by his plan that addresses not only dealing with strays and adoption rates but also spay and neuter and even emergency preparedness. He comprehends the cost, fiscally and to the wellbeing of a community, when animals are treated as mere throwaways and of no value.
James’ first six priorities were detailed in part one of this story, Politicos and pets: Kevin James has a plan for LA animals (Part 1). Below are James’ five remaining priorities:
- Seventh, LAAS must enforce anti-cruelty laws which includes working with law enforcement and the offices of the City Attorney and District Attorney. This is a serious humane issue as cruelty, hoarding, tethering, and neglect cannot be tolerated. Many animal advocates are concerned that LAAS has no real anti-cruelty plan in place.
- Eighth, LAAS must continue to strengthen and expand its outreach and education. Effective public outreach and education strategies will increase shelter adoptions, increase owner responsibility and owner retention, and bring in new volunteers, fosters, rescuers and community resources. Outreach and volunteer recruitment should be open to all segments of our diverse population. An emphasis needs to be placed on helping the public solve animal issues.
- Ninth, LAAS must do a better job at accountability. LAAS leadership should be accountable for achieving real results. The public deserves transparency. Better decisions are made with complete information. There are numerous opportunities to partner with non-profit organizations, private companies and foundations that can all provide much-needed financial resources to the department. However, to be successful in such partnerships, LAAS must operate efficiently and effectively and be responsive to the requirements of these organizations as well as to the public at large.
- Tenth, LAAS must demonstrate that it respects appreciates and supports its volunteers and each of the individuals and groups working hard to help companion animals, wildlife and other animals. LAAS cannot succeed without their dedicated life-saving assistance.
- Finally, I am also concerned that our city does not have a comprehensive disaster plan for animals.
Our city's emergency preparedness plan needs to include shelters that allow animals when a family or individual is forced to seek shelter assistance because of an emergency or tragedy. Time and time again we have seen individuals or families refuse to go to a shelter if the shelter will not allow their pets. Pets are part of the family and our city government should recognize this fact when planning for emergencies.
For anyone interested in listening in person to what James has to say on this issue, there will be a forum held tomorrow between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Beverly Garland Hotel, 4222 Vineland Avenue in North Hollywood. The event is free and open to the public.
Other candidates expected in attendance include Eric Garcetti, Jan Perry, Wendy Greuel and Emanuel Pleitez. It is sponsored by the League of Humane Voters, which will be making an endorsement within a week.
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