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L.A. Animal Services department takes a step toward hiring a new general manager

January 12, 2010 |  8:00 pm

The resignation last year of controversial L.A. Department of Animal Services general manager Ed Boks represented a major shake-up in the city's animal-rescue community and left the department without an official leader. A preliminary step was taken today in the effort to find a new general manager.  Our colleague Carla Hall has the details on The Times' L.A. Now blog; here's an excerpt:

Adopt Los Angeles Animal Services commissioners will hold a public hearing today to hear from citizens and advocates about the qualities they want in the next general manager of the animal shelter system.

[Ed Boks] resigned 6-1/2 months ago after receiving criticism from all quarters. His predecessor, Guerdon Stuckey, was fired by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

The next general manager will have to make peace with various constituencies: staff members who perform the emotionally and physically taxing work of caring for tens of thousands of abandoned animals; City Council members who want explanations; and the hundreds of passionate rescuers, welfare advocates and shelter volunteers.

The general manager also has to oversee thousands of animals abandoned each year. 
"How do you change a public perception that sees animals as disposable?" said Animal Services Commissioner Kathy Riordan. "It will take more than one committed manager. It will take all our leaders, in words and in budgets, and it will take a society."

An online survey has been sent to about 300 "stakeholders": volunteers, rescuers and advocates deeply involved in protecting shelter animals. A search firm, Citygate Associates, has been hired to find candidates and gather input from animal services commissioners and staffers. Citygate Associates will be monitoring today's hearing.


Photo: Dogs await adoption at a shelter operated by the L.A. Department of Animal Services.  Credit: David McNew / Getty Images

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