Great Article: Animal Issues Must Get Priority In the Mayor’s Office

POLITICS – As the proud guardian of a rescued Dachshund named Lisa-Marie, I have taken an active and vocal role supporting animals for many years. Lisa-Marie's previous guardian dropped her off at a Bakersfield shelter with serious injuries to her head and mouth.

Therefore, she was considered a “special needs” rescue. After a few trips to the vet, plus lots of TLC at home, she has been in excellent health for five years now. I feel lucky that I have often been able to bring her to work with me.

I went through the dog adoption process to obtain Lisa-Marie on-the-air on my KABC radio show. A listener from Thousand Oaks put me in touch with the Dachshund rescue center where I adopted Lisa-Marie. Pets have shared my home my entire life. Lisa-Marie is a very special dog – she seems to have figured out that she's got a pretty good gig.

My record working in the community to help animals in Los Angeles dates back many years when I worked with the PAWS/LA program at AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA). I served on the all-volunteer board of APLA from 1995 through 2000, and was a volunteer with APLA dating back to the late 1980s. PAWS/ LA was founded in the late 80s in response to the companion animal related crises faced by LA residents who were financially and physically debilitated by HIV/AIDS and who needed assistance in keeping and caring for their pets.

The program recognizes the value of the loving bond between people and their companion animals, and seeks to preserve that bond. The program has now expanded its scope to assist any low-income individual living with a chronic or life-threatening illness who needs assistance with their pet.

As my broadcast career grew in Los Angeles, I used my radio show to raise public awareness of animal issues. I assisted in the pet adoption process by featuring pets that were in need of a home. I also hosted radio segments featuring many non-profit humane organizations working on the pet rescue, adoption and care industry in Los Angeles, including Operation Blankets of Love.

I also used my radio show to assist volunteers seeking to raise money to pay for uniforms for the city's Reserve Animal Control Officers (RACO). RACO officers are volunteer animal control officers that work with the city's full-time animal control officers. Because of city budget cuts, Los Angeles shockingly only has one or two animal control officers on duty on any given night.

During the 2009 Station Fire, I used my radio show to inform the equestrian community of immediate shelter locations to protect their horses. Also, the city must be prepared to address other critical issues facing the equestrian community (e.g., Building and Safety issues on barns and corrals).

I have already voiced my opposition to the use of bull hooks on elephants in our city, and my support of the city ordinance precluding the use of such bull hooks.

My work within Los Angeles on animal issues over the past two decades has prepared me to meet the many challenges the city's Animal Services department (LAAS) currently faces.

Lots more on the original here: Animal Issues Must Get Priority In the Mayor’s Office