A dog looks out from inside an animal shelter cage.
Example of a dog at an animal shelter, but NOT the dog in the story. Photo from Pixabay

The Los Angeles City Council’s Personnel, Audits and Animal Welfare Committee will hold a special meeting Tuesday in response to a Los Angeles Times story on conditions at the city’s animal shelters.

Councilman Paul Koretz, the committee chair, called the emergency meeting after what his office described as “disturbing and unacceptable” revelations in the story, published last week.

The Times found that animal shelters are overcrowded, and that some dogs spend weeks or months inside their kennels without being walked. Los Angeles Animal Services relies mostly on unpaid volunteers to walk and exercise dogs, according to the Times.

Councilmen Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Bob Blumenfield also voiced concerns to the Times after the story was published.

In a statement last week, Koretz said he meets with the animal services department every month to discuss “every aspect of the department’s operations, including complaints I’ve received from members of the public about problems.”

“My position as the committee chair does not empower me to boss the general manager around, but I’m not shy about making suggestions and recommendations,” Koretz said.

Agnes Sibal, a spokesperson for Los Angeles Animal Services, told CBS2 last week that all animals receive “daily enrichment” including “some form of exercise and interaction with volunteers or staff.”

The committee consists of Koretz, Harris-Dawson and Councilman Mike Bonin. Harris-Dawson serves as the vice chair.

Tuesday’s meeting will include discussion on animal intake and care, adoption programs, shelter maintenance and staffing, according to the agenda.

Also present at Tuesday’s meeting will be Annette Ramirez, interim general manager of LA Animal Services, Larry Gross, president of the Animal Services Commission and representatives from the city attorney’s office and SEIU Local 721.

Public comment will be conducted virtually only.

The meeting begins at 10 a.m. The agenda can be viewed at the following link: bit.ly/3ccJI5C.

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