No Cuts to Dallas Animal Services does not mean more money

Posted in Now or Never on June 17, 2014 by Blog Administrator

Just a quick DAS budget update – the Dallas City Council will be briefed on the City Manager’s latest budget estimates at tomorrow’s Council Meeting.  At that meeting, it is expected to be announced that there will be NO CUTS to Animal Services, and that Dallas Animal Services will be fully funded at current year levels.  That means that the only cut/reduction to the current budget that was proposed – the 50% cut to temp staff – will not happen.

However, that  does not mean that the remaining enhancements are funded.  Enhancements (detailed here), include staff for the PetSmart adoption center, canned pet food, additional vet care/surgery needs, vaccination on intake, rabies prevention for staff, cleaning and sterilization cost increases, property maintenance, repair and replacement of equipment, a new generator, and 10 more desperately needed staff members.  Those items were never in the budget to begin with – but they are are items DAS critically needs.  According to the most recent budget update, they are not likely to be funded, however.  So even with no cuts to the current budget, DAS still may not get the funding it needs.

If you’d like to get involved, you can contact the Dallas City Council and/or attend tomorrow’s City Council meeting to lobby for more funding for DAS and show your support of the good work they are doing.  You may also wish to follow “We Care About Dallas Animal Services“, a grass roots effort to convince City leaders to find more funding for DAS.

 

Does the DAS budget support saving lives?

Posted in Now or Never on June 17, 2014 by Blog Administrator

No, the current DAS budget does not support saving lives.

DAS Adoptions in 2007 were 1,500.  DAS adopted 6,866 pets in 2013.  That is a more than 350 % increase.

DAS Historical Adoption Stats

DAS budget was $ 7,030,000 in 2007.  $ 7,629,000 in 2013.  An increase of only 8%.  Yet everyone one of those adopted pets adopted has to be s/n and vaccinated by law.

DAS Historical Budget #s

 

Clarifying A Statement from City Hall

Posted in Now or Never on June 2, 2014 by Blog Administrator

Many of you have asked about a statement that some of you have received from Dallas City Hall that reads in part, “Thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns regarding the City of Dallas Animal Services budget. In the Council’s budget briefing last Wednesday, the City Manager made it clear there is no plan for cutting services to DAS. ”

That statemet is correct.  The City Manager made no recommendation to cut City services.  His recommendation was to cut the number of people delivering those services, i.e. feeding, cleaning, and caring for the homeless pets at the adoption centers.

We hope that will help clarify what may at first seem to be a contradiction, and thank you all for bringing it to our attention.

 

Good News/Bad News, and the Enhancement Bids

Posted in Now or Never with tags , , , on May 31, 2014 by Blog Administrator

At this time, nothing has changed and DAS is still facing a budget cut of 1/2 of the contract workforce. However, based on the City Council’s responses to calls and emails from concerned citizens, it appears unlikely that they will allow the proposed cut to happen. That’s the good news. The bad news, however, is that the City is still facing a $30 million shortfall, and the Enhancement Bids (B – F below) are critical expenditures that DAS does not have funds for. At this time, none of the enhancement bids for DAS are being recommended for funding by the City Manager and Budget staff.

  • CCS-001 B EAC $365,300.00 4 FTE (includes salary and benefits) + 4 Day laborers. Required to maintain the public/private partnership with PetSmart Charities that has resulted in the department’s first ever offsite adoption center. PetSmart built the center at the cost of $ 450,000. PetSmart provides food and some supplies. DAS provides personel, pets, and operating costs.
  • CCS-001 C Health/Safety $271,000.00 Vet care/surgery needs, animal food, and rabies protection for staff. Evalutation, treatment and vaccination on intke provides a safe environment for staff, volunteers, and visitors and prevents the transmission of zoonotic diseases. Cost of cleaning supplies and chemicals to minimize cross contamination and exposure have increase 200% since 2010. DAS was disqualified from Science Diet’s free food plan in 2010-2011, but no funding for food was ever added to their budget.
  • CCS-001 D Outdoor maintenance $106,000.00 Regular maintenance of property. Climate hardy landscaping, regular mowing (as opposed to our managers buying gas out of their pocket for a borrowed mower), replace worn turf that is causing a public safety issue and bring the shelter’s exterior into compliance with City code.
  • CCS-001 E Indoor Maintenance $197,000.00 Repair and replacement of broken, outdated equipment and purchase generator. When the shelter was built in 2007, no provision was made for repair/replacement of any equipment including exam tables, scales, autoclave, refrigerator, washer/dryer, electronic gate, chairs/desks, paint, sanitization system, anesthesia and more. A generator would keep animals alive and keep staff from being at risk should an emergency arise.
  • CCS-001 F Staffing $537,282.00 Year 1 of 5 Year plan to bring staffing levels up to national standards. Adds 10.5 FTEs as part of a 5 year plan to bring staffing levels up to national standards and allow DAS to respond timely to public safety calls , emergency situations, and efficient service delivery. This enhancement 1 Office Assistant to respond to council requests and report back to citizens and council on associated activities, 1 Veterinarian to meet 7 day, 12 hour/day animal care coverage for 600+ animals, 1 part time veterinarian capable of high volume spay/neuter surgery to meet the 65% increase in surgery demand generated by increase in live release rates and to maintain compliance with City Code, 1 Veterinary Assistant to prepare animals for surgery and monitor post-op for the 65% increase in surgery demand. 1 Coordinator III to head up DAS social media, press inquiries, website development, develop literature and publications, and handle outreach requests, 2 Crew Leaders to supervise the 50 temp workers DAS employs every day. Additional Crew Leaders are needed to sustain operations with only a temporary work force to clean and care for the 600+ animals in the facility and the 64/day incoming, 2 Coordinator IIs to focus on the Mayor’s Grow South Plan and enhance independent evaluations, provide targeted tactical initiatives, and responsive customer services in the council districts south of I-30 abd 2 ASO positions to provide education, enforcement, and efficient response to calls in Southern sector.

Rally Update!

Posted in Now or Never on May 29, 2014 by Blog Administrator

Tuesday night’s Rally in support of Dallas Animal Services drew a huge crowd to Lee Harvey’s. Find out more here.

Also, it’s important to note that the first draft of this year’s DAS budget proposed by DAS Manager Jody Jones, did not include the 50% to the Contract Labor Force. The decision to cut the Contract Labor line item was made by the Code Compliance department.

PLEASE READ

Posted in Now or Never on May 23, 2014 by Blog Administrator

The information below is provided as a service in support of Dallas Animal Services staff and management. If you are blaming the shelter staff for the budget recommendations, you are not understanding the situation. The Animal Services budget is controlled by the Dallas City Council and Dallas City Manager, not Animal Services. Please read our posts fully and be sure you understand the situation before you contact anyone at City Hall, or take any action. If you have questions, or are not sure what this is about, please ask in the comments and someone will try to help you. Comments blasting Animal Services will not be tolerated. And remember – passionate is OK, but polite is a must!

Quick update. More when we have it.

Posted in Now or Never on May 22, 2014 by Blog Administrator

http://dallas.culturemap.com/news/city-life/05-22-14-dallas-animal-services-budget-cuts/