Irvine Animal Care Center volunteers say they will attend Tuesday's Irvine City Council meeting to express their concerns about conditions at the city-run facility. Botched euthanasia procedures, putting strays down too soon and keeping dogs caged up for hours without letting them out to relieve themselves are among their concerns, and taking a hard look at the leadership of the center is among their solutions.
The volunteers say they plan to line up at the speaker's podium during the meeting's public comments section, which will likely start around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. You won't be able to miss them: They will be wearing red as rules prevent them from donning volunteer apparel outside of the shelter.
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According to an email, these are the concerns the volunteers plan to raise:
• Use of donation funds intended for animal care toward capital improvements and staff salary
• Mistreatment of animals and inhumane euthanasias--botched euthanasias where animals needlessly suffered for extended periods of time--one cat's euthanasia took 2 hours and euthanized kitten was thrown in the laundry
• Denying animals the 5 freedoms--dogs spending 22-23 hours in their kennel and not being taken out to relieve themselves
• Euthanasia of treatable animals--enhanced care program and donation funds not used
• Euthanasia of animals with committed adopters
• Animals on safe keep adopted to new owners while their owner was in the hospital
• Stray animal euthanized before stray wait was up and owner came to claim
• Substandard neuter surgeries requiring additional care and pain/suffering
Solutions we would like to request:
• Investigation by independent third party into the past year under Michelle Quigley and Dr. Kosmin of our concerns and those already brought forward to City Council, City Manager, Assistant City Manager, Community Services Director, Community Services Manager, Human Resources and IACC staff
• Forensic audit of donation account--how and where is the money being spent
• Creation of the Irvine Animal Care Center Advisory Board or Irvine Animal Care Center Committee under the Community Services Commission to address current and future issues
• Intakes and outcomes of all animals regardless of intake be made available on the website monthly--noses in and noses out, nothing excluded
• Hire a pro-humane, pro-life Chief Veterinarian for the open position
• Hire a behaviorist that can evaluate animals and work with staff and volunteers on improving the welfare and adoptability of the animals at the shelter
"This is our one shot to make an impact on the city and create some urgency for the animals," organizers say. "We may attend additional meetings in the future, but not necessarily in full force--rather a couple of people to keep them on track."