Animal Services Director Guerdon Stuckey will report
on strategies used in other cities to improve spay
and neuter services as well as outline what the city
can do to overcome misconceptions on how animals are
treated, according to a copy of his $50,000 contract
obtained Wednesday by the Daily News.
The one-page document outlines eight major areas
on which Stuckey is to report by April 29 as part of
the golden handshake approved by the Los Angeles
City Council last month in the face of his threat to
sue over being fired by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller said he
would not discuss the contract or what he has asked
Stuckey to provide, although during City Council
consideration of the matter Miller said he believed
Stuckey could provide valuable information -
particularly on community outreach.
Outreach to communities is the top item listed
for Stuckey in the copy of his contract, which also
asks him to report on how the city can overcome
public mistrust of the department's treatment of
pets, review how other cities have reduced
euthanasia rates and analyze whether those programs
could work in Los Angeles.
In addition, he is asked to look at how to
increase funding for the department, boost
strategies to increase pet adoptions, review public
education programs and analyze the need for city
facilities for animal services.
Under the terms of the agreement, Stuckey will be
paid $50,000 in increments leading up to the
submission of his final report. The contract also
says Stuckey is to be available to talk with city
officials about the status of his work 40 hours a
Critics have questioned the need for the contract
and say that because of his limited background on
animal issues, Stuckey will provide little help or
insight to the department's new director, Ed Boks.
Supporters, however, say Stuckey learned a lot in
his 13-month tenure before being removed by Mayor
"I found him very competent and I think I
can say that he will give us a report that will help
us greatly on the life and death issues involving
our pets," said Councilman Tony Cardenas, who
authored the motion to hire Stuckey as a consultant.
with him on a very complicated issue involving an
Animal Cruelty Task Force and he was able to pull it
off with complete professionalism. I think he proved
himself to be a qualified manager, even if a lot of
Villaraigosa did not comment directly on the
consulting contract when it was authorized and does
not have the authority to overturn it.
"The mayor is pleased the council agreed
with his right to remove a department head,"
spokesman Joe Ramallo said Wednesday. "He still
doesn't see any need to have Mr. Stuckey continue
any service to the city."
Kynama Wald, co-founder and vice president of the
Rescue and Humane Alliance, said most in the animal
rights community expect the report to be of little
"We feel he failed as a general manager and
don't see how his contributions now can be of much
assistance to the city," Wald said. "To be
fair, not all the problems in the department were of
his doing. This department has been facing problems
for a number of years.
"Nonetheless, we think he was an ineffectual
Charlotte Laws said the contract gives Stuckey a
chance to redeem himself.
"But, I've seen other reports he's done and
I don't hold out much hope," said Laws of the
Greater Valley Glen Neighborhood Council and
president of the League for Animal Protection.
Councilman Jack Weiss, who opposed the contract,
said he still questions its value.
"This was a $50,000 going-away memo,"
Weiss said. "The people elected a new mayor
last year and he is entitled to bring in his own
general managers. That's what the mayor did. I see
this as a waste of $50,000."
Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390