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Rights Activists Worried New Animal Services Director Not Right for the Job
The City Council is expected to vote today on the appointment of Brenda Barnette as the head of the Animal Services Department, according to the Daily News.The vote follows yesterday's Public Safety Committee hearing, during which she continued to provoke concerns among animal rights activists regarding her stance on issues and her plan to handle the challenging role of heading up a department that has seen five previous directors in just the last decade.
Barnette, who comes to Los Angeles following her post as the CEO of the Seattle Humane Society, says she supports the no-kill policy, and that her first priority will be to deal with the department's staff. In Seattle, Barnette experienced much success in her job: "Under her leadership, in 2009 the Seattle Humane Society had the best year in its 113-year history with the placement of 6,091 animals and a Live Save Rate of 91.4 percent," notes My Seattle Pets.
However, not everyone is convinced Barnette is the right person for the job:
Questions have been raised about her commitment to a no-kill policy at city shelters, to her support for spay-neuter programs and whether she has sufficient experience to oversee an agency that last year impounded more than 54,000 dogs and cats.
Animal rights advocates and activists plan on raising these concerns during today's Council hearing.