Los Angeles Animal Services General Manager Takes Proactive Steps in First 2 Months, Calls on Public to Help Confront Emergency at LA Shelters

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Los Angeles Animal Services General Manager Takes Proactive Steps in First 2 Months, Calls on Public to Help Confront Emergency at LA Shelters

LOS ANGELES, September 12, 2023 – After two months on the job visiting shelters and meeting with volunteers and stakeholders, LA Animal Services General Manager Staycee Dains today laid out proactive steps to begin addressing the state of LA animal shelters, and also called on Angelenos to help relieve overcrowding.

General Manager Dains announced plans to fill dozens of vacant positions for Animal Care Technicians (ACTs) within the next 30-45 days and said the Department will have greater transparency about animals in distress in the shelters. These measures and others under development will begin addressing the emergency situation in the shelters as General Manager Dains plans for greater collaboration with stakeholders on a long-term strategic plan to address systemic problems. 

Increased staff through Targeted Local Hire program - Targeted Local Hire (TLH) allows for rapid hiring and onboarding for entry level positions, while also opening opportunities for full-time, paid City jobs to people in underserved communities. LA Animal Services currently has 45 open positions for ACTs, and a cohort of 50 people will be invited this week to apply for work starting as early as September 25th. Another cohort will be invited to apply to start working every two weeks thereafter until all positions have been filled.

Reporting and responding to deeply concerning conditions found in the shelters - Since she joined the Department in July, General Manager Dains has spent the majority of her time on the ground, in all six (6) shelters. She has found that each of L.A. Animal Services’ six shelters is well over capacity to properly care for the animals housed there, regarding both sanitation and exercise and enrichment activities. While the shelters remain overcrowded, enforcement officers out on abuse or neglect calls also face the problem of deciding to remove an animal living in poor conditions, without a guarantee of better conditions at the shelter.

“Animals are suffering in our shelters, and so are those who care for them,” said General Manager Dains. “We keep animals in crates in hallways for days, weeks, or months at a time. Staff and volunteers are injured by animals subject to fear, anxiety, and stress. Our caregivers know that the animals receive substandard care, which harms their mental well-being. We cannot allow the suffering to continue.”

General Manager Dains has also instituted weekly department-wide all-staff meetings and volunteer meetings, as well as first-ever regular convenings of New Hope rescue partners to discuss problems, gather ideas and implement solutions. 


General Manager Dains is asking Angelenos to help the animals in our care as she continues to confront the state of the shelters working alongside staff, volunteers, nonprofits, and other City departments. 


How Angelenos Can Help:

Adopt NOW from LA Animal Services 

We need our animal loving community to help by adopting or fostering an animal now. When you adopt from LA Animal Services, animals will be vaccinated, microchipped, spayed/neutered, given flea treatment and other treatments to ensure their health. 

Volunteer and Foster

Volunteers in the shelter spend time with our animals to help them feel safe and significantly reduce their fear, anxiety, and stress. Fosters agree to provide a temporary home outside of the shelter while staff and volunteers work to find a permanent home for that animal. Read more about volunteering here, and get started on your foster journey by clicking here

Spay and Neuter Your Pets

The city provides discount and full-cost vouchers to help people to take steps to avoid unwanted litters. Animals that have not been fixed can contribute to overpopulation and crowding at the shelters. Find voucher information here

Donate to the LA Animal Services STAR program

Some animals come to the shelter injured or with extensive medical needs. The Special Treatment and Recovery (STAR) program helps support the care these animals need and deserve. It ensures that our New Hope partners and adopters have the resources to provide for animals with greater needs. Read more here

Apply for a Job at LA Animal Services

LA’s Targeted Local Hire program fast tracks qualified candidates into city employment, including working for LA Animal Services. Candidates begin their career as an Animal Care Attendant providing hands-on care to animals in our shelters. Follow the link to learn more or sign up with a TLH referral agency.

Thank you to our lifesaving partners who help us care for #LACityPets