Richmond City Council and Richmond Animal Care and Control

Hello! Below is a copy of the message the RSPCA sent yesterday evening to their online supporters that reside in the City regarding the reassignment of RAC&C. Please share it with anyone you know who also lives in the City and would be willing to write his or her Council representative or attend Monday’s meeting of Council. It is vitally important that there are folks to speak against the City Administration’s proposals. Thank you for your help and support!

On Monday, April 26 at 6 p.m. at City Hall (900 E. Broad St., 2nd Floor), Richmond City Council will discuss the reassignment of Richmond Animal Care and Control (RAC&C) within the City structure. As you may recall from prior messages I sent last month, when this issue was first being addressed by City Council, RAC&C must be reassigned because the department it now reports to – General Services – is being abolished.

If City Administration has its way, RAC&C will move to the Department of Public Works or it will become a stand alone agency that reports directly to the deputy chief administrative officer for operations. In our view and that of many others, neither reassignment proposal is satisfactory for a myriad of reasons. Regarding Public Works, it shares no similarities with RAC&C and many argue that it is already an overtaxed department that is neither effective nor efficient. Regarding the suggestion that RAC&C would become a stand alone agency, historically standalone agencies in the City have not fared well and have not had anyone looking out for their welfare. In addition, they have suffered from a lack of attention from upper-level management.
Our organization believes it is crucially important that RAC&C be reassigned to the Police Department. The rationale for this opinion includes:

RAC&C serves an important public safety function, and citizens rely on it to respond promptly and effectively to emergency calls.
The division is responsible for investigating and aiding in the prosecution of animal-related crimes, most notably dog fighting and animal abuse and neglect.
As a public safety agency, its resources and staffing levels must be protected from debilitating reductions floated or mandated during difficult budget years.
The prevailing assignment of animal control divisions in the state and across the country is Police due in large part to the many synergies that naturally exist among public safety agencies.
Reassignment to Police would impart a valuable level of credibility and respect to the crucial functions of RAC&C.

It is in the best interest of the animals and residents of our city that RAC&C not be reassigned to Public Works or as a stand alone agency. Please join us in urging the members of City Council to not permit either reassignment the Administration is proposing and instead support moving RAC&C where it belongs – in the Police department. Please call or e-mail your representative ) to let him or her know your opinion. We also encourage you to make your voice heard at the City Council meeting Monday evening at 6 p.m. if you are a City resident. We appreciate all you do to protect the precious pets of our City and to support our good friends at RAC&C.

Tamsen Heckel Kingry
Chief Operating Officer
Richmond SPCA
2519 Hermitage Road
Richmond, VA 23220(804) 521-1312