The Tarzana Neighborhood Council has had an Animal Welfare Committee for four years. The committee was originally formed by Deanna Dylan Scott. It now is led by Jeff Mausner who has demonstrated the knowledge and passion for animal welfare by leading the committee to support Rockin’ Rescue, an animal adoption center located on Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills, and he has inspired other neighborhood councils to form Animal Welfare Committees as well.
The Tarzana Neighborhood Council Animal Welfare Committee helped to institute programs at the City’s West Valley Animal Shelter to cut down the killing of dogs and cats during major influx periods. This included a Temporary Animal Foster Program for cats and dogs, using kennels that had not been in use for some time. Over the last July 4th no healthy adoptable dogs or cats were killed at the West Valley Shelter, in comparison to July 4th 2015, when dozens of healthy adoptable dogs were killed at the West Valley Shelter because of lack of space.
The Committee worked with Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s office and helped to save the lives of dozens of dogs and cats. Some of these measures were also adopted at other City shelters, after they were implemented at the West Valley Shelter.
The Tarzana Neighborhood Council helped Rockin’ Rescue obtain zoning variances so that the adoption center could continue to operate. In January, the South Valley Area Planning Commission on an appeal filed by Jeff Mausner, as an individual, unanimously voted to grant the variances necessary for Rockin’ Rescue to continue to operate on Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills. Over 5,500 people signed petitions and over 100 people attended the hearing to show their support. Other neighborhood councils appeared at the hearing and Councilmember Blumenfield and State Senator Henry Stern also supported Rockin’ Rescue.
To ensure that no other Animal Rescue Organizations will have to go through a similar zoning ordeal, the Tarzana Neighborhood Council Animal Welfare Committee suggested that the L.A. Municipal Code be amended to specifically allow Animal Rescues to operate in commercial zones, without the necessity of a variance. On January 19, Councilmember Blumenfield introduced a Motion to that effect . The Motion was referred to the City Council PLUM Committee. The Council File is CF 17-0079.
The Animal Welfare Committee was instrumental in getting the City to issue a Request for Proposal for a Rescue Organization to run the abandoned South LA Animal Shelter. The former South LA Shelter has been closed and unused for many years. This facility can hold hundreds of dogs and cats. What a waste for the building to be sitting there abandoned when dogs and cats are killed because of lack of space in other City shelters.
Jeff Mausner, the Chair of the Animal Welfare Committee and the guiding light at Rockin’ Rescue, contacted Councilmember Herb Wesson’s Planning Deputy since the building is located in Councilmember Wesson’s district. A meeting was held and Councilmember Wesson attended and the project was approved and is now called the Jefferson Park Animal Shelter. This Shelter will literally save the lives of animals each year and benefit the area where it is located. Jeff is actively pursuing a rescue operation to submit a proposal and to run the Shelter.
The Committee also worked with General Services Department to have delivery of trucks to the Animal Services Department with air conditioning in the compartments for the animals.
The Animal Welfare Committee Liaison is working with LA Animal Services to implement NO-KILL by the end of the year. A meeting was held to discuss implementing specific proposals for achieving No-Kill.
It is my honor to present Jeff Mausner and the Tarzana Neighborhood Council Animal Welfare Committee ,the VANC “Best of… Award” for recognizing the responsibility of City government to deal with animal issues.