Board Of Sups In OC Considers Budget Cuts To Animal Care - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Board Of Sups In OC Considers Budget Cuts To Animal Care

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Santa Ana, CA - (FOX 11 / CNS) The Orange County Board of Supervisors today will consider making significant budget cuts to its OC Animal Care services, such as closing its facility in Orange on Mondays.

County officials say the expense of pensions, workers' compensation and the rising cost of medicine and other medical services have caught up to OC Animal Care, which has not had a fee increase since 2008.
  • The board will be asked to consider three options:
  • Make deep cuts in services;
  • Increase the fees paid by the 17 cities that contract with the county for services;
  • Or dip into the general fund and subsidize the losses.

Supervisor John Moorlach said he is inclined to cut the department out altogether, contract with a private company and let the cities that contract with the county handle animal care within their boundaries.

"If our purpose is just to help the unincorporated areas and that portion of the budget is $500,000 then why don't we just cut it,'' Moorlach said.

The cities that contract with the county could rent space in the county's facility in Orange, he said. Moorlach said he is interested to know what his fellow supervisors think. Officials say closing the animal shelter on Mondays would save $167,800 annually. Closing the public intake at 6 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. could save $30,000.

Other proposed cuts include reducing a community outreach supervisor to a part-time job, which would save $40,600. Eliminating a public education officer post would save $62,300, and dropping an overnight shift for field services would save $76,500.

More proposed savings would come from reducing overtime by 25 percent, netting the county an additional $137,200, and cutting a supplies budget by $111,900.

If the supervisors want the cities to chip in more in fees, then it is also proposed that the county should set up a Joint Powers Authority that would give the local municipalities more say on running animal care.

The cities recently agreed to chip in an extra $780,200, leaving a shortfall of $626,300 to be made up with the county upping its commitment or going with the service reductions.

From Bob DeCastro:

Orange County Animal Care Services rescued some 8600 animals last year and returned 3500 pets to their owners, and now the agency needs help itself. It is dealing with a huge budget deficit of more than $626,000, the result of pension costs, Worker's Compensation, and the rising cost of medical care and medicine.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors can do one of three things. It can cut deep into it services, increase fees for contracted cities, or dip into the county general fund. There is great concern animals could suffer in the end. Orange County Animal services 17 different cities in the county. The Board of supervisors will take up the issue during their meeting at 9:30 this morning.
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