Animal Services employees gathered with community activists Tuesday to protest against the potential outsourcing of their jobs, which they say could create public safety threats.
They rallied outside of the San Diego County Administration Center to protest the Board of Supervisors and call attention to the damage that outsourcing their positions to the San Diego Humane Society could do to the community.
In response to the protest, a County official said no decision has been made yet.
“The only decision that has been made regarding Animal Services is that after June of 2018, we will no longer provide service to San Diego, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar, Solana Beach and Santee,” stated Michael Workman, San Diego County Communications Director.
According to Workman, the San Diego County is currently in the process of gathering community input so that a thoughtful decision can be made that is best for the animals and the taxpayers we serve.
"If this department is eliminated, it is gone forever in favor of a private nonprofit known for low pay and high turnover, which is under absolutely no obligation to comply with the state Public Records Act, open-meetings laws or even to speak to any reporter [or citizen]," said Katie Reid from Ramona. "So, goodbye accountability."
Members of the Board of Supervisors have not followed their own procedures required by the managed competition policy and the County charter, according to the group.
The group claims that Animal Services offers expertise, experience and accountability that is not possible to match using an outside agency.
Animal Services officials said they deal with a breadth of safety threats such as dog fights, rattlesnakes, quarantines, animal hoarding and abuse. Outsourcing could lower the training for officers, causing issues that would threaten public safety, according to the group.