March 2019

FY 2018-19 Projections

OCAC staff provided an update regarding FY 2018-19 projections as of January 31, 2019. Salaries and employee benefits are over budget due to the Director and Chief Veterinary becoming two positions. Services and supplies are over budget as a result of higher utility bills associated with the transition to the new facility and pharmaceutical costs. Revenue for charges for services is under budget by approximately $137,000.  Fees for adoption were reduced/waived in an effort to reduce the shelter population. The combination of higher expenditures and lower revenue has resulted in the contract cities’ projected share to be under-budget by $131,362.

Modified Service Model – Field Services/Animal Control

As mentioned in the previous CMAACC update, OCAC is examining methods by which to alter field and special services to offer additional cost savings to its contracting agencies. OCAC presented options that are designed to reduce cost with minimal impact on services. The proposed plan is projected to save general field services/animal control by $730,499.40 and business licensing services by $100,234.67, for a projected total savings of approximately $830,734.07. The proposals include:

Deceased Animal Removal

Changing the personnel assigned to handle deceased animal removal from Animal Control Officers (“ACO”) to lower level classifications. OCAC staff predicts the change in personnel classification will reduce costs and still maintain the possibility of faster response times. The average response time for deceased animal removal in Lake Forest this fiscal year is 3.23 hours.  

Stray Dogs

Changes to how OCAC responds to stray dogs. Currently, OCAC initiates all requests for all stray dogs whether deemed urgent or non‐urgent. Instead, OCAC proposes to initiate service requests only for urgent stray dogs, those that are sick, injured, aggressive, in‐traffic, or causing other safety issues. A customer service component will be implemented to determine if the request is urgent or non-urgent. During the current fiscal year, there have been 124 calls for stray dogs with only one dog impounded. Last fiscal year, there were 300 calls resulting in 5 dogs being impounded (2 of which were impounded twice).

Stray Trapped Cats 

Instead of field staff impounding stray trapped cats, the public would be responsible for bringing them to the shelter. OCAC staff clearly stated that accommodations can be made for those residents that are unable to bring the trapped cats to the shelter.  There are two stray trapped cats in Lake Forest this year compared to 25 during fiscal year 2018.

Declared Dog Compliance Checks

Declared dog compliance checks would be changed from regularly scheduled to complaint based or as needed. Currently, seven dogs have been declared potentially dangerous or vicious in Lake Forest.

Business Licensing Service Changes

Business licensing service changes primarily will be conducted over the phone and through mail. The main categories of changes are:

•    Pet Stores

Transitioned to Administrative Licenses – Owners will provide OCAC with their contact information, the types of species they will be keeping, and basic information on where the animals are sourced. The intent is that OCAC would only make an inspection if a complaint was received or it had some other reason to justify an inspection.


•    Facilities Licensed through USDA or the California DFW (Exotic Animal Permits)

Federally or state licensed facilities housing animals such as tigers, bears, etc., will be transitioned to administrative licenses. Owners will provide OCAC with their contact information, the types of species they will be keeping, a copy of their current license or permit with the applicable state or federal agency, and after-hours contact information. The intent is that OCAC would only go out and inspect if a complaint were received or OCAC had a reason to make an in-person inspection necessary. These facilities are already licensed through a government regulatory agency. 

•    Rodeos, Circuses, etc.

Currently, OCAC staff inspects, permits, and attends all shows in this category. OCAC will be transitioning to administrative licenses. Owners will provide OCAC with their contact/after-hours information, the nature of their business or show, vaccination records for the animals involved (if needed), a list of the types of animals involved, and any corresponding permit or license issued by the state or federal government as applicable. OCAC would respond if a complaint were received or if it had some other reason to make an in-person contact. 

•    Grooming Facilities  

o    OCAC will be transitioning to administrative licensing of grooming facilities. This primarily will be achieved through mail and over the phone. Owners will provide OCAC with their contact information and basic business details. OCAC will respond to investigate or inspect as needed or upon complaint. 

Elimination of Positions

Elimination of seven (7) full-time employees from field services. Through attrition, OCAC plans to implement temporary measures until the number of ACOs can be reduced and the proposed savings is achieved.  Most ACOs will transition from a 4/10 to a 5/8 schedule.

Staff will continue to update the City Council relative to OCAC operations.  Should the City Council have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (949) 461-3537.

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1. January 2018
2. February 2018 - Cancelled
3. March 2018
4. April 2018
5. May 2018
6. June 2018
7. July 2018
8. August 2018
9. November 2018/January 2019
10. March 2019