Hello, Councilmembers. My name is Dr. Charlotte Laws, member of the Greater Valley Glen Council and president of the Directors of Animal Welfare Program.

In November 2000, the voters approved a $154 million bond, which was in part designed to pay for a new animal shelter in South Los Angeles on a property belonging to a furniture company. The city took the property via eminent domain, has stalled construction, and now wants to bypass the votersí wishes by selling this site to different furniture company. This is an improper manipulation of eminent domain law.

The beneficiaries of this sweetheart deal have contributed to the campaigns of Rocky Delgadillo and others. Not only does this transaction present an appearance of impropriety, but it ignores the votersí wishes, and more importantly, costs animals their lives.

As construction prices rise, this stall means more money will be needed to build the shelter. This amounts to an injustice against the defenseless animals, who are housed in the highest volume kill shelter in Los Angeles. This facility needs space more than any other. The people and the animals of South Los Angeles should not be short-changed.

The proposed new location is inferior to the original site. It is not on a major street; therefore does not encourage community participation; successful shelters need to be located where people live, work and congregate. They must be highly visible and accessible to encourage spay/neuter, adoptions, microchipping and volunteer work. Community participation is of paramount importance in transforming Los Angeles into a no-kill city.

In addition, Councilmember Parks acknowledges that the animal shelter fund may not be fully compensated in the end. This blatantly disregards the votersí wishes when they supported the bond.

Please immediately build the animal shelter at the original site. Time is of the essence. Animals are suffering and dying every day. Thank you.