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Audit: Poor Oversight, Missing Microchip Revenue Cost LA Animal Shelters $1.3M

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(credit: Getty Images)

(credit: Getty Images)

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textalerts180 Audit: Poor Oversight, Missing Microchip Revenue Cost LA Animal Shelters $1.3M

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Animal shelters in the city of Los Angeles are plagued by poor oversight, lost inventory and potentially unsafe conditions that have cost taxpayers $1.3 million over the last two years, according to an audit released Wednesday.

City Controller Wendy Greuel said the Department of Animal Services has failed to keep accurate records of the thousands of animals at its six shelters around the city.

Greuel said dog owners were often removed from the records if they didn’t pay for licenses for their animals, leading a widespread confusion over the numbers and types of animals kept in city facilities.

The audit also found close to $125,000 in missing revenue from microchips implanted in animals to help link found pets to their owners.

“We’ve been working closely with the general manager and as we’ve been going through this audit, some of the items that we’ve outlined, she’s already begun to implement,” Greuel told KNX 1070 .

General Manager Brenda Barnette, who was tapped to head the department in June 2010, declined to comment on the audit but said in an email statement that she is “working hard every day to reform this department”.

Barnette replaced former General Manager Ed Boks, who resigned in 2009 after he lost the confidence of Animal Services staff and some City Council members.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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