The City of Los Angeles Approves a New Wildlife Policy
8/24/2004 2:50:00 PM

LOS ANGELES, Aug 24, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Los Angeles Animal Services Commission yesterday unanimously approved a new wildlife policy for the city. Under the new policy, the department will allow wildlife rehabilitators licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game to respond to calls from members of the public, and take ill, injured and orphaned wildlife from city animal shelters. Additionally, the department will only issue trapping permits to trap animals that are ill, injured, orphaned, or pose an immediate threat to public safety. Animal Services will no longer issue permits to trap healthy wildlife that pose no threat. As per Fish and Game regulations, all healthy trapped wildlife taken to the shelter legally would have been killed.

LA Animal Services Commission Vice President Alex Rubalcava said, "Animal Services' new wildlife policy reflects our desire to teach city residents how to co-exist with the native wildlife in their communities, and minimize the flow of animals into our shelters. Working with rehabbers -- who have the requisite knowledge and experience, as well as licensing from Fish and Game -- was the perfect way to achieve our goal of returning animals to their habitats instead of being forced to euthanize them. Our thanks go out to Animal Advocates, The Urban Wildlands Group, and others who helped us devise this program."

Mary Cummins, President of Animal Advocates, first submitted the proposed wildlife policy over two years ago. Cummins stated "Animal Advocates is very pleased to have been able to help the city implement a plan to save the city's wildlife. We would like to thank Mayor Hahn, City Council members, LA Animal Services commissioners, members of the Wildlife Committee, The Urban Wildlands Group and the Department for their help in approving this much needed new policy." "We applaud this forward-looking effort to live more harmoniously with the City's wildlife," said Catherine Rich, Executive Officer of The Urban Wildlands Group.

The Wildlife Committee is currently looking for more licensed wildlife rehabilitators to help pick up and rehabilitate the wildlife. They also need people to answer inquiries from the public in regard to nuisance wildlife issues. Please contact for more information.

SOURCE: Animal Advocates

Animal Advocates, Los Angeles Mary Cummins, 310-877-4770
click here to read an article about wildlife and shelters. It talks about how you
can easily set up a wildlife plan for your local shelter.
Below is the new wildlife policy for LA City.
1. All wildlife calls involving distressed, sick or injured wildlife, public safety issues are to be routed to wildlife rehabbers whose telephone numbers appear on the attached list.
2. A department trap or permit is not authorized unless the animal is distressed, sick, injured or is a threat to public health and safety. Anyone else wanting an animal removed for any other reason will be sent the brochure entitled "Trapping Wildlife: Is it really necessary?" along with a brochure (where applicable) for the type of animal they are having a problem with. They will also be advised that they will have to contact a private organization for removal of the animal.
3. Sick, injured or orphaned wild animals that come into the shelter or are picked up in the field are to be assessed by the veterinary staff and then, if not in dying condition, a rehabber will be contacted from the attached list to pick up the animal. If the rehabber fails to pick up the animal it will have to be reassessed by the staff.
4. Wild animals that require field euthanasia by officers will still be handled in the manner prescribed in the firearms section of the manual.
5. When healthy wildlife comes into the shelter, we will request that the person return it where they found it. They will be advised that if the animal is left at the shelter, it will be euthanized, in accordance with Fish & Game Regulations, which does not allow for rehabbers to take healthy wildlife.
6. We will work with rehabbers to have temporary housing placed at, at least two shelters for the animals: a "quiet place" for the animals to be held until the rehabber can come for them. 7. We will be setting up ongoing training in handling wildlife from qualified rehabbers and other wildlife experts.
8. We will post a list inside of the shelters with rehabber's phone numbers to discourage people from brining in wildlife to the shelters.
They also amended section 53.69 LAMC to increase trap rental fees.
The Department will also create at least three new "Encounters with..." pamphlets. One on dealing with orphaned wildlife, one dealing with opossums, and one dealing with skunks. We will check into having the rehabbers phone numbers printed directly on the orphaned wildlife pamphlets. In addition the current trapping permits will eventually be reprinted to reflect something like the following language: "As you have elected to trap a healthy, wild nuisance animal (s), State law allows only two options for the animal, release of the animal back on to your property or euthanasia. By signing below you understand these conditions."


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