August 2018

August 2018

 

City staff attended the City Manager’s Association Animal Care Committee meeting on August 16, 2018 at Orange County Animal Care (“OCAC”) headquarters.  Discussion topics included an introduction of the new Director of Animal Care, animal control field and special services, and the recent animal cruelty case. 


Introduction of Director of Animal Care

 

During the meeting, Orange County Community Resources (“OCCR”) Director, Dylan Wright, introduced the new Director of Animal Care, Mike Kaviani.  Mr. Kaviani shared his experience with the group and expressed enthusiasm for joining the OCAC community.  Mr. Kaviani has over 14 years of experience in the animal care industry and previously served the Irvine community.  Mr. Kaviani joins OCAC from Austin Pets Alive!, where he served as the Director of Life Saving Operations.  Mr. Kaviani began his new role with OCAC on August 17, 2018, and will be available to attend a City Council meeting in the near future.  

 

Animal Control Field and Special Services

 

In addition to identifying potential cost savings associated with shelter operations, OCAC is examining methods by which to alter field and special services and offer additional cost savings to its contracting agencies.  California State law mandates that animal control conduct certain activities.  Beyond these, OCAC will examine current services and introduce potential cost saving program options to the CMAACC at its next meeting.  


Additionally, the CMAACC discussed the City of Anaheim’s study to examine the possibility of providing its own field services.  OCAC noted that each contracted city’s field service allocation would increase in the event that Anaheim decided to offer its own services. Although Anaheim has not formally withdrawn from OCAC field service provisions, OCAC will include this possibility when it presents additional field service models to the contract cities at its next meeting.  Staff will provide updates on this issue as necessary.   


Animal Cruelty Case

 

Earlier this month, a rescue group began posting information suggesting the occurrence of animal abuse involving a dog adopted from the OCAC shelter.  This group alleged that the dog had been sexually and physically abused and abandoned in poor health in the public right-of-way.  The rescue took the dog to a veterinarian where it received care but ultimately passed away.  The allegations originated in the City of Los Angeles, prompting the Los Angeles Police Department’s (“LAPD”) Animal Cruelty Task Force to open an investigation.  OCAC cooperated with the Task Force while it investigated these claims.  On August 16, 2018, the LAPD Task Force issued a press release outlining the findings of the investigation.  After speaking with the treating veterinarian and the forensic veterinarian, the LAPD Task Force determined that there is no evidence of sexual or physical abuse, and the dog died of natural causes. 


According to the press release, unknown circumstances prevented the dog’s owner from caring for the animal for a short period of time, prompting the owner to place the dog in a home for temporary care.  During that time, the dog became lose and was found later by the aforementioned rescue group.  The forensic veterinarian noted that the dog had recently been spayed, may have been in heat, and had previously given birth to multiple litters.  All of these factors contributed to visible swelling of the dog’s genitals.  At this time, the cause of death is unknown; however, the forensic veterinarian is testing tissue samples to assist in possibly identifying a cause of death.  The LAPD Animal Cruelty Task Force press release is attached for the City Council’s information.


Please contact Louie Lacasella, Assistant to the City Manager, with any questions at (949) 461-3537, or via email at llacasella@lakeforestca.gov.


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