summarized by Lake Forest City Councilman Dr Jim Gardner
In what was supposed to be a discussion of alternatives to OCAC, the only invited speaker was the Head of OCAC. Did I miss something? Why didn’t we invite the Director of the MV shelter, or the people responsible for animal care from the 16 cities that do not contract with OCAC. Why do you invite the head of OCAC to a discussion of options to using OCAC?
Mr. Franks gave us a summary of the County’s plans to build a new shelter on the Navy Base in Tustin. He was very optimistic. For more than 40 years, Directors of OCAC have been very optimistic in promising a new shelter, yet here we are, with more promises, with the addendum that it will be different this time.
I asked Mr. Franks and our staff what difference a new shelter would make for the problems identified by the various Grand Juries, i.e. –
· Poor leadership
· Poor management
· Manpower problems
· Training problems
· Falsifying data
· High kill rates
No one had an answer to the inquiry. Mr. Franks assured us that he is working on solving the many problems that face the shelter, just as past Directors have given the same assurances.
More telling than the assurances from Mr. Franks was a surprise appearance by Sharon Logan, the woman who successfully sued OCAC because of their euthanasia practices. She reported that since the settlement some months ago, OCAC has continued to use unacceptable procedures and violated the terms of their agreement. Sharon Logan’s first-hand experience is testimony to the worth of the County’s promises.
We had another speaker, Lake Forest resident Randy Johnson, who exposed flaws in the County’s system for calculating “license compliance”. His research indicates that OCAC over-estimates the compliance level in Lake Forest, reporting 51.8% when the real figure is 44.3%. Coupled with my own research that OCAC under-estimates the euthanasia rate for dogs (9.6% reported vs. 23% actual), this is yet another disturbing piece of information about the people who want to care for our animals and who ask us to pay $600,000+ per year and who want us to contribute nearly $1,000,000 to help them build their new shelter.