Brenda Barnette’s Plan for Saving Animals:
On October 21, 2010, Los Angeles Animal Services General Manager Brenda Barnette issued a NEWS RELEASE which reads:
"EXPANDED FOSTER PROGRAM for LOS ANGELES SHELTER PETS
How You Can Help From Home
"Immediate Foster Homes Needed! Our Animal Care Centers are filled to over flowing. You can become a volunteer hero by opening a spare room, garage or basement to an adult dog or cat that will benefit from home care and a break from the shelter! We will assign you a foster animal who matches your lifestyle and animal experience. Time commitment can range from one to eight weeks or occasionally longer. All you need is a room (even a bathroom) and some spare time. We will provide fosters with basic training, all supplies, any necessary medications, and access to someone to answer your questions.
"This is open to anyone who has a big heart and some extra room in your home!"
At the “No More Homeless Pets Conference” on October 16, 2010, Ms. Barnette told Francis Batista of Best Friends Animal Society that when she worked at Seattle Humane Society (which takes in only 6,000 to 7,000 animals a year), she had over 4,000 pets in foster homes.
She also announced that the Los Angeles Animal Services Commission just approved increasing dog and cat limits to five each (TEN animals) per property and this will enable more “fostering,” especially of adult animals.
She discussed her plan for Los Angeles, which is to foster out 2,000 animals from each of the six City shelters—that would total 12,000 animals—BUT SHE DID NOT SAY THEY WOULD BE FOSTERED IN GARAGES, BATHROOMS OR BASEMENTS?
Los Angeles residents and taxpayers care very much about animals: .
· In 2000, Los Angeles residents voted for $154 million in bonds to build/renovate city animal shelters, most of which are now completed.
· Los Angeles maintains a generous low-cost and free spay/neuter program.
· Los Angeles Animal Services’ General Manager Brenda Barnette is paid $170,000/year to provide humane care of the city’s homeless pets.
DO WE WANT HOMELESS AND HELPLESS ANIMALS THAT ARE ENTRUSTED TO THE CARE OF CITY FACILITIES TO BE “FOSTERED” IN BASEMENTS AND GARAGES?
Is this really a solution, since City shelters are replenished with unwanted/stray animals every year—the greatest percentage being Pit Bulls and feral cats?
Does Animal Services have the financial and staffing resources to monitor and assure thousands of “fostered” animals are receiving proper care and attention?
Does just having a big heart and extra room in your home—or maybe a basement or garage—qualify you to “foster” animals, many of which have special physical and emotional needs and possibly behavioral challenges?
Since “fostered” animals are still the property of the City, can we risk the liability for the lives and safety of pets and families who may “foster” adult animals of unknown background—especially Pit Bulls or other aggressive-breed dogs?
In a recent interview with Adrienne Alpert on KABC, Ms. Barnette advocates for pit bulls, fostering animals and increasing pet limits.