June 2018

City staff attended the City Manager’s Association Animal Care Committee meeting on June 21, 2018 at Orange County Animal Care (“OCAC”) headquarters.  Discussion topics included a recent Panleukopenia outbreak at the animal shelter, the status of the recruitment effort for the Director of Animal Care, a recent agency fee study, OCAC’s fundraising efforts, and the organizations summer adoption promotions. 


Panleukopenia

 

OCAC has identified the presence of panleukopenia and is taking immediate steps to contain the spread of the virus.  Panleukopenia is a relatively common disease which may have serious consequences for unvaccinated and immune-immature cats and kittens.  While panleukopenia is not unexpected in shelters this time of year, it is nonetheless concerning and OCAC is taking the situation seriously.


OCAC adopted a shelter-wide approach and implemented deep care and cleaning protocols with both staff and volunteers.  Additionally, OCAC is limiting access to cats to in-kennel visits, and is administering booster immunizations to all shelter cats.  While dangerous to unvaccinated cats, there is no risk to the public visiting the shelter.  Regardless, OCAC continues to promote hand sanitization of all visitors as they enter and exit each cat area. To date, no Lake Forest cats have been affected by the virus and the shelter’s cat adoption process continues.


Director of Animal Care Recruitment Status

 

During the meeting, Orange County Community Resources (“OCCR”) Director, Dylan Wright, provided a status update regarding the department’s recruitment for a new Director of Animal Care. At this time, the County has extended an offer to the selected candidate and the County is awaiting a response. The candidate visited the facility during the recruitment process and will be introduced to the CMAACC in the near future, should he/she accept the position.


OCAC Fee Study


Staff previously informed the City Council that OCCR intended to present the Strategic Plan and the Fee Study to the Board of Supervisors in May 2018.   However, OCCR determined that the Board of Supervisors would need to review the two documents individually.  As a result, OCCR presented the Strategic Plan to the Board of Supervisors on May 22, 2018, and scheduled the presentation of the Fee Study for July 2018.   If approved, updated licensing fees will take effect on September 1, 2018, and all others fees on August 1, 2018. 

 

Fundraising Campaign

 

OCAC receives around $100,000 annually in donations.  As a part of its newly adopted strategic plan, OCAC is committed to increasing fund raising efforts during the coming Fiscal Year.   At its meeting of May 8, 2018, the Board of Supervisors discussed OCAC’s proposed fundraising campaign with a third-party fundraising firm called Convergent.  The Board of Supervisors directed OCCR to proceed with Convergent for a six-month fundraising campaign.  The County is responsible for the costs associated with this effort ($175,000) and anticipates generating approximately $1,000,000 to $1,500,000 through fundraising activities which could offset OCAC’s programming costs.  OCAC and Convergent have begun the fundraising campaign. 


Cool Cats of Summer Promotion


OCAC’s Cool Cats of Summer promotion lasts until the end of June.  During this time, OCAC will waive all cat adoption fees, with the exception of the $17 microchip fee.   OCAC uses donations to offset the expenses associated with this promotion.  


Alternative Animal Care Shelter Exploration

 

The City Council previously directed staff to send letters to the cities of Costa Mesa, Irvine, Mission Viejo, San Clemente, and San Juan Capistrano regarding potential interest in a partnership to provide animal care services. At this time, staff has received responses from many of the cities. Staff plans to present an update regarding this project to the City Council at a meeting in August 2018, to discuss next steps and receive further City Council direction.


Staff will continue to update the City Council relative to OCAC operations and the City’s effort to explore alternative shelter options as appropriate.  Should the City Council have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (949) 461-3537.

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