LADWP AND STNC ANIMAL ISSUES COMMITTEE HOLD PRODUCTIVE MEETING TO WORK TOGETHER
By Pat Kramer, Region 1 Representative/Animal Issues Committee member
On Friday, March 27th, top management of LADWP met with STNC Region 1 Rep. Pat Kramer and Animal Issues Chair Dana Stangel to discuss a letter, unanimously approved by the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council, requesting a protocol for animal rescues off power equipment in the City of Los Angeles. Joining them for this meeting were: Andrew Kendall, DWP Director, Power Transmission & Distribution Division; Winifred Yancy, DWP Director, Intergovernmental Affairs & Community Relations; Fire Captain Hamel of S-T’s Fire Station, and Board of Neighborhood Commissioners’ Lydia Grant.
The meeting was set up as an effort to alleviate problem animal rescues off power poles as was the case last November in Sunland. In February 2015, STNC’s Animal Issues Committee invited the “SMART” Team (Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Team) of the Department of Animal Services to their monthly meeting. At that time, SMART Team Leader, Acting Lieutenant Armando Navarrete, said that they would be happy to assist DWP workers on any future rescue efforts, however they needed a protocol in place for this to happen.
STNC Animal Issues Committee (Region 1 Rep. Pat Kramer) then drafted a letter which the STNC board unanimously approved, requesting the Mayor oversee the creation of a protocol between the DWP and SMART Team on rescues of animals off their equipmet. By working together, this will ensure a safer outcome for both the city workers and the animals.
At the March 27th meeting between DWP and STNC board members, a productive discussion took place resulting in an assurance from the DWP reps that the SMART team would be called for future rescues. Once DWP meets with Animal Services to put this in place, rescues off power equipment will be safer for both the humans and the animals involved. The SMART team has special training to handle wild and frightened animals and has been working with the L.A. Department of Animal Services since 2008.
By initiating this meeting with DWP’s top management, the STNC reps were able to provide input on a new policy for the City of L.A. to improve the health and safety of local wildlife and domestic animals -- and the humans who often risk their lives to perform these rescues.
The STNC meets for its next monthly board meeting on the April 8, 2015 at North Valley City Hall, 7747 Foothill Boulevard, Tujunga, CA 91042. The next STNC Animal Issues Committee meeting will be held on April 28, 2015 at 7 p.m. at North Valley City Hall.