Tingle: Grand Jury Report Confirms, Cities Shouldn’t Wait on County for Compassion

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Orange County’s Grand Jury once again blasted the county animal shelter again this week in their 2nd report of the year, making it the 5th Orange County Grand Jury Report on the Orange county animal shelter.

You may view the report here.

In reading these reports, I find it amazing the animal shelter staff has accomplished what it has.

But what is truly outrageous is the lack of action by the Orange County Board of Supervisors, the responsible entity for the shelter.

As a result of the this latest report, the Public Relations officer for the county immediately issued a press release stating the report was “flawed” and that the County will be providing formal responses to the Grand Jury report within 90 days, as required by law.

This is not an encouraging sign and indicative of what we have always come to expect from the supervisors.

To give you an example of the supervisors attitude, when the shelter was experiencing a financial shortfall last year, former Supervisor John Moorlach stated “I don’t know why those of us who have decided to not have pets should subsidize those who do.”

Really?

How does that apply to the orphan animals for whose shelter care is mandated by the state?

Shall I make a list of the “special agenda” items the supervisors approved that we taxpayers subsidize even though we all do not benefit?

There is no question that there is need for leadership and a desperate need for a new shelter facility to replace the current 74 year old county shelter.

You would think, in wealthy Orange county we would have a state of the art animal shelter, but instead we have the worse county animal shelter of all the surrounding counties.

Most of the problems the shelter is now experiencing could have been circumvented if the Orange County Board of Supervisors had replaced the shelter ( as they have been promising for 20 years ago) or appropriately and adequately funded the current shelter.

Instead, it operates underfunded and understaffed with a roof that is ready to fall in, old cat housing (trailers) which “increases the vulnerability and exposure to disease” and improper dog kennels which prevent humane cleaning, just to name a few problems pointed out in the reports.

So what is it with our Orange County Board of Supervisors?

Are they “addicted” to power and so not open to the Divine guidance for which they pray at the beginning of each board meeting? In one of the Sunday messages at my church, it was stated, “if a person is in the grips of an addiction, it can make it very difficult for them to hear the voice of the Divine.”

The 18 cities which contract with the county for animal services have 90 days to respond to the last Grand Jury Report of May 21, 2015.

Will any of them withdraw from the county and join with neighboring cities to build their own pro-humane animal shelter as the city of Mission Viejo did 20 years ago?

Stay tuned!

I know a few are!

I just hope the city council members of the remaining cities aren’t addicted to power too.

  • CitizensForAnimal Shelter, OC

    Greg, if you live in one of the 18 cities which contract with the county for animal services, the best you can do is to email your city council members and let your voice be heard. After 20 years of promises, we have learned not to believe the supervisors. it would be more productive and make more sense for the contract cities to withdraw from the county. What’s that old saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

    When I submitted a public records request to the county for the results of the meeting the county had with the Navy last year and then the county denied my request,(so much for transparency in government!) I knew they were trying to hide something. I then submitted a Freedom of Information Act request directly to the Navy. The Navy responded to me that there is no firm date as to when the Tustin property will be released to allow construction of a new shelter. . So now it is out in the open but the supervisors are still saying the navy is the hold up even though the supervisors have had several other land options.
    What a disgrace to the county and a failure in stewardship. I viewed the mounds of paperwork and documentation the county administrative staff has generated over the issue of the county animal shelter and it always lead to the failure of the Orange County Board of Supervisors to get involved, just lip service. What a waste of taxpayer money.
    Visit our Facebook page: Citizens for Animal Shelter, Orange County

    • Gregg

      Sad! I read in an article lately that the Marine Base parcel should be available in 2 years after the cleanup. But in the interim, the cities are supposed to agree to contracts and funding. The problem is that cities are not going to contract with something that does not have a plan yet. There are no plans for this proposed project yet. That part has not been done by the BOS. So, if they do not actively plan this thing at least a proposed one, then it will take much longer. I will contact my city council about this. I have posted the original article on a local FB page…maybe get some discussion going. Keep up the good work!

  • Gregg

    What can the citizens of Orange County do in a practical way that will light a fire under the BOS. I am appalled at these findings just as thousands of others. Do we write / call the Board? Do they even care? When are the next elections?

  • I sit on the City Council for Lake Forest. At our meeting on June 16 Councilman Adam Nick motioned and I seconded bringing the conditions at the OC shelter up for a thorough discussion by the Council, including inviting the shelter director to appear to answer questions. Mayor Voigts endorsed the idea as well. I am deeply disturbed by what has been going on for decades, and we can look to Mission Viejo as a model of developing a multi-city service that is efficient, effective, and no kill. If there is sufficient courage and resolve among my fellow Councilmen and in a few other South County cities, we may move forward with an alternative to the County. Stay tuned.

    • CitizensForAnimal Shelter, OC

      Great !Good to know.!