Canine Conundrum

By: 
Jerry Shultz

 

On Wednesday morning, Aug. 24, Emily [my daughter] saw an injured poodle-type dog on the east side of the 3100 block of the Bellflower Boulevard service road. The dog was limping, covered with fleas, and had blood on its rear. He had no collar and was dirty and matted. She coaxed him off the road on to the driveway of a home on that block. The dog cowered under a truck parked in that driveway and was shaking all over. Emily contacted the homes on that block, but no one had seen him before. The homeowner at the location where the dog was resting brought out a dish of water for him.

Emily then tried to call L.B. Animal Control but was put on hold. Since she had to go to work, she called me, and I responded. I also tried to call Animal Control but was on hold for about 30 minutes, so I drove to Animal Control on Spring Street. I entered the office and saw only one female behind the counter. I told her I came in person because no one answered the phone. She said they are short of staff, and she was the only one in the office. I also noticed that she was not answering phones at the time but was on the computer.

I reported on the injured dog, and she took all my information and entered it on a form. She said she would report it to the field unit for pick up. I went back and saw that the dog was gone. A resident down the street told me that he saw an Animal Control truck go down that block and we all assumed that the dog was picked up.

The next day my daughter drove to Animal Control to check on the status of that dog and was told that they had no record of this dog, did not send a truck and that neither I, nor anyone else, had come in to report on the dog. My daughter checked all the kennels there and talked to staff and they told her the same thing.

I was out of town for several days and today, Monday, Aug. 29, I visited the home where the dog was last seen and asked about the dog. I was told that their Nanny saw Animal Control pick up the dog on Wednesday morning and took it away.

So, we have here a conundrum. A mystery. Something is afoot. Here are the facts: An injured dog was seen and was reported to Animal Control in person. A report was taken. Two witnesses saw the Animal Control truck. One saw it drive down the street and the other saw them load the dog in the truck and drive off. The dog was no longer there. Animal Control not only denies the existence of this dog but denies that anyone reported it and that they picked it up.

Something smells here and I am determined to get to the bottom of it. I hope that Animal Control is not euthanizing animals before the mandatory waiting period and then erasing all records of that animal. If that is not the case, this is either utter incompetence or just an overwhelmed, frustrated staff. Our citizens and furry companions deserve better service. I will keep you posted.

[The writer is a former City Council member]

Reply to Shultz Letter

A letter written by you was recently forwarded to me and I have some questions to better investigate this situation with a dog that seems to have been picked up by Animal Control in Long Beach. Would you be able to discuss this with me or answer a few questions? The case of the missing canine has me truly vexed, and I would like to solve it. Please call me to help me investigate further.

The first one is, do you know the house address or the name/phone number of the person who called us? Every call that comes through our call center is recorded so I would like to hear those calls. In addition, I would like to check the jurisdiction of where this animal was supposedly found so that I can determine if LBACS or another agency might have picked up this dog. I would further like to check our call longs against the address given for the location of where the dog could be found to see if one of our officers responded and perhaps a clerk simply did not properly search records for the call.

At any rate, Long Beach Animal Care Services observes the holding period, and in fact holds animals for months and in some cases, more than a year, to get those pets healthy and on to their next best life. We also are not adverse or ashamed of needing to provide euthanasia to animals who are suffering and in need of this specific care.

We don’t doctor records to hide information. If anything, we review records to provide even more information and increase transparency with our community and within the organization.

Staycee Dains
Bureau Manager
Animal Care Services

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