Board Approves Answer to Grand Jury Report on Animal Services


(Board Approves Answer to Grand Jury)

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County supervisors signed off today on an Executive Office response to a grand jury report critical of the way the Department of Animal Services handles payments collected by its officers in the field, citing safety and efficiency concerns.

On a 5-0 vote without comment, the Board of Supervisors certified the county’s answer to the civil grand jury, which is near the end of the last fiscal year issued findings that focused on alleged deficiencies regarding how payments are collected and processed by animal control officers.

The county’s three-page answer to the panel stated that the issues which jurors found concerning have either been resolved or are close to resolution.

The 19-member grand jury, which has Superior Court authority to investigate almost any matter of concern in county government, said it could not identify a specific written policy establishing how animal control officers are supposed to manage receipt of payments for various services while in the field, including pet surrender fees, owner redemption fees, and euthanasia fees, all of which can run anywhere between $40 and $150.

The main concern pertained to cash handling and how officers secure cash to ensure it isn’t lost or stolen. According to Executive Office staff, a policy does exist, and it instructs officers to lock money inside a box bolted inside each animal control patrol vehicle. Accepting credit card payments in the field, which would likely eliminate cash transactions, remains a challenge because most of the county’s three-dozen animal control officers are not trained to use Internet-based software that can be loaded onto their tablet devices to process charge card payments.

Officials said the Department of Animal Services is working to have all officers trained in the mobile Converge credit processing system by Dec. 31.

The grand jury concluded that the cash-based system was “cumbersome and unsafe,” with many officers and supervisory personnel unhappy with managing and keeping track of dollar bills. Jurors also found how receipts are recorded in the department’s database to be “time-consuming and inefficient.”

Executive Office staff said that, even with full implementation of the mobile processing system in the field, all types of transactions will still need to be entered into the agency database.

“Without this information, no official record will exist of the transaction,” the staff wrote. “These records are vital to know the status of animals, such as if they are licensed, have bitten anyone in the past, or have violations of law pending against them.”

Find your latest news here at the Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle

Search: Board Approves Answer to Grand Jury


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

Subscribe to The Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle


More like this

Riverside County Lawmaker seeks to end California’s ‘Sanctuary State’ policies

NORCO, CA — An Inland Empire lawmaker Wednesday said he will submit legislation seeking to end California's "sanctuary state" protections for any illegal immigrant offender who has committed sexual offenses against minors.

Temecula Rod Run invites car enthusiasts to Southern California’s premier car show

Time to get under the hood, and tune up that engine! The City of Temecula proudly welcomes all car enthusiasts (novice and expert) to join us at the annual Temecula Rod Run in historic Old Town on Friday & Saturday, May 3 & 4, 2024.

Hemet High AG program fosters student leadership

Hemet High School graduate and Agriculture teacher Katie Fernandes and six of her students were guest presenters at the recent California Retired Teachers Association Division 33 luncheon on April 9th at the Seven Hills Members Club in Hemet.