Animal Services Didn't Keep Track of Guns and Animals, Failed to Collect $1.3 Million in Fees, City Controller Wendy Greuel Says
Remember when Animal Services officers had to give up their guns, at a time when it didn't seem like the city department knew exactly how many weapons it even had?
Well today city Controller Wendy Greuel spelled it out in an audit of Animal Services: "Department officials ... neglected to perform physical inventories of their fixed assets or equipment, including guns and ammunition."
Oops. But wait, there's more:
Greuel's people noted via statement that ...
... While the audit was being performed, Department management removed guns and ammunition from the shelters. Since then, new protocols regarding access and use of firearms have been established.
Funny, when the guns were rounded up last summer, Brenda Barnette, general manager of L.A. Animal Services, told us it had nothing to do with the then-underway audit -- that it was a "separate" move.
Uh-huh. (You can see why reporters are always so doubting when it comes to what officials in this town say).
Anyway, Greuel also found that the department didn't even keep track of the number of animals it had in custody.
And she said that its management positions comprised a "revolving door" that made running this show a nightmare. Greuel:
Without proper management oversight, it is difficult for employees to detect when shelter animals are missing. That is unconscionable and unacceptable.
The department also forgot to collect some cash that's owed to you, the taxpayer, Greuel's office alleges:
"Los Angeles Animal Services (LAAS) neglected to collect over $1.3 million in potential revenue from dog owners" and that scofflaws are essentially forgotten about.
Her audit also says:
LAAS has not properly tracked donations and could not demonstrate that all donations were spent for legitimate business purposes.
Did Greuel address the issue that you care about most, the utter annoyance of 2,000 chronically barking dogs in this city and the failure of officials to impose $250-$1,000 fines on their owners?
Nope. But a spokeswoman tells us it might be "something we can look at in future audits."