The vision of Animal Care Services is to become California's safest large city for people and animals through a proactive strategy of community engagement and enforcement activities. The City of Long Beach provides animal care services to four contract cities, including Cerritos, Seal Beach, Signal Hill and Los Alamitos.
The annual budget of $4.3 million is supplemented by over $2.1 million in revenue collected through donations, fees and contract revenue. Over 50 staff members work in (8) program areas, providing (48) key service areas described below in more detail.
Animal Care Services promotes public safety and the humane treatment of animals through emergency response to animal-related incidents 24-hours a day and 7-days a week. Animal Control Officers will complete over (64,000) calls for service last year including high priority calls involving bites, injuries and cruelty cases. Field Operations also provides enforcement of the municipal code through license inspections, citations and the protection of wildlife.
An important part of public safety is to provide follow-up investigations to incidents, secure evidence, and to provide expert testimony at court hearings. On an annual basis, Animal Control Officers investigate over (519) formal complaints ranging from formal barking complaints to dog and cat bites.
Customer Services and Support
On an average summer day, over 100 customers will visit the front counter at Animal Care Services to renew their licenses or redeem their animals, with an average of 200 or more questions answered by phone. Customer support clerks help to enforce the municipal code through the management of over (45,000) dog licenses and rabies certificates for the cities of Long Beach, Signal Hill, Cerritos, Los Alamitos and Seal Beach.
Animals have access to veterinary medical care 24-hours a day and 7-days a week at Animal Care Services through a combination of part-time licensed veterinarians, contract animal hospitals and the support of onsite certified veterinary technicians. On an average summer day, over (45) new animals will be dropped-off or impounded at the Shelter requiring evaluations, vaccinations and veterinary care. Daily rounds and check-ups for an average of (180) animals help ensure health and adoptability of the Shelter's guests.
Animal Care Attendants are skilled in the areas of handling and husbandry, promoting a clean and healthy environment for the Shelter's guests. This includes daily cleaning and disinfecting of the Shelters more than 170 kennels and cages. Each year, the Kennel Care program provides food, water and hospitality for over (15,000) animals that stay for an average of (5.5) days.
Ongoing threat assessment and planning is an important aspect of public safety in the event of a wide-spread incident or disaster. Emergency management requires coordination between agencies (within the city and beyond), training of key staff and communication with the public. Monthly safety inspections and exercises at the Shelter ensure that the City will be ready to protect people and animals in the event of an emergency.
Clear policies and procedures are paramount for public safety organizations required to take action in rapidly changing circumstances. Weekly trainings for all staff through ongoing meetings, as well as periodic certification trainings for more specialized activities, are coordinated by senior staff. Over (110) individual staff trainings are anticipated in the coming year. Customer service training for all employees also increases effectiveness in the field and at the Shelter.
Securing resources efficiently, managing assets and communicating with the public are essential components of public safety organizations. Administrative staff coordinates community partnerships to promote humane education as well as to prevent disease and cruelty. Ongoing adjustment to policy and strategy ensures that Animal Care Services anticipates emerging issues and utilizes resources effectively.