My 97 year-old mom is in the hospital after a fall 11 days ago.  She was released the same day as the fall 11 days ago because she did not break any bones and there was no detected internal bleeding.

Yesterday she went back to the ER because of increasing pain in the right abdomen.  She has had all kinds of tests, and one possible problem is a precancerous lesion lacted in the stomach 2 years ago, but most docs there think the pain is secondary to the fall.  They can’t find the source, but are being forced to release her even though she has been on her back for ten days and can’t sit up because they can’t find anything that requires hospital treatment under the new, Affordable Care Act guidelines.

All are released from the hospital because patients can’t stay in the hospital if they can be treated on an outpatient basis.

The docs tell me this is especially true with elderly Medicare patients, and the doctors have no say as to how long a patient stays.  If nothing is found that MUST be treated in a hospital, they must be released, even with pneumonia, open wounds, and other conditions for which they would have been kept in the hospital and treated before Obamacare.

The docs said that the most severe restrictions are on the Medicare elderly, likely due to the $700,000,000 billion taken out of Medicare to fund Obamacare (ACA).

These docs universally say this is the new state of Medicare and the new medical system created by Obama—they have no control over patient care.  Care provided is all a matter of government restrictions on stay and treatments, which are most onerous on the age and conditions of the elderly.  These doctors are angry and say the system is not treating the elderly as they should be treated, and were treated before Obamacare destroyed Medicare.

In a sense, we have a “gentle form” of “Death Panels” that the Republicans warned about, but they are living people that are making decisions not to treat the elderly, but the words and regulations written into the Affordable Care Act.

Obamacare may cover more people now than before, but it has done soon the backs of Medicare and the elderly.


What is the most amazing thing you cn think of?  The Grand Canyon?  Niagra Falls? That the universe is 15 billion light years across?  Atomic energy?  The human mind?  Television? That society seems to work at all with all its complexity?

I think the most amazing thing is me, and by proxy, you!

We are alive.  We see, feel, touch, smell, and taste both the external world and our bodies.  Every morning when we awaken, the world is there for us to experience.  And, one day were were not; then we were born, and gradually became consciousness of the totality of existence which gradually separated into self and personal experience, and the world, and “real,” external, and public existence.

These clumps of complex matter, of proteins, cells, molecules, nervous system, brain, blood, bile, etc, somehow become self-aware and even communicate their awareness to others in words, gestures, voice tones, and mood. This collection of atoms, quarks, electrons, somehow became self-aware, and also aware that others had this same awareness.

What a miracle.  This is the most amazing thing I can think of.  We have become alive!  From nothingness and non-existence, bodies came alive and became aware.  From nothing, from non-existence, I came alive.  How wonderful is this?

Yet most people seem overcome by negative moods about themselves and about society and the world.  Why, because they have been hypnotized that life itself was not enough.  You had to have things, accomplishments, titles, money, possessions, children, etc., and we think, think, and think, and fall short of what we should have and should be.

This is Buddha’s discovery: drop thinking about what you should be or should have and dwell in the miracle of your own being, and you will be happy, peaceful, and radiant.

It is also the spirituality of Jesus, or God becoming carnate, fleshy, embodied, and talking of the kingdom of heaven, while saying the direction towards that heaven was by forgetting your own concerns and wealth and take care of others.  Again, getting attention off og your own desires and judgments of falling short or measuring successes on a daily basis, live to help other sentient beings as you would have them help you.

I say, shut the fuck up.  Stop all your thinking about Ramana, Nisargadatta, Christ, Jeff Foster, Tolle, Robert Adams tell you about yourself, and as much as possible, live in yourself, your own experience, feeling it deeply, sinking into your experience, without judgment, without stories, without running commentary, and just feel within, and feel the world without,  FEEL, not think.  FEEL, not judge.  FEEL the Self within, and there you will find God who is you, your core and deepest Self.

1. Historian for taking information from patients regarding background, history, and injuries, psychological and physical, received while working. And also for family litigation.  This will be in Los Angeles.

2. Medical Records reviewer. Do preliminary review of medical records regarding a patient to serve as reading material for busy physician to review before submitting a final report.  This person can be located anywhere in the world with access to the Internet.

It does take time to learn these skills, especially the historian job. 

Trainee can use own typing skills or learn Dragon Naturally Speaking to dictate and edit results.

Preferred candidate will have a background in psychology, medicine, pharmacology, or biology.  Pay will depend on proficiency in all the skills required and will start as part-time and can eventuate in full time.


Contact:         edwardmuzika(at)gmail(dot)com   ASAP


I no longer have the time to dedicate to this blog.  All of my attention focuses on my spiritual blog http://itisnotreal.blogspot.com.

Therefore I direct any readers to the blog by Mary Cummins who does cover current L.A. animal issues, as well as her many lawsuits and public controversies.

I worked with Mary for several years on LA animal issues, especially about L.A. Animal Services and the L.A. County shelters, as well as the ground squirrel poisonings at Santa Monica order by LA County Vector Control.

Follow Mary's blog: 

Kapparot killing--Mary Cummin's blog

Kapparot chicken swinging/killng ritual is not humane or legal

Woman holds cup of chicken blood to take home and put over door and on children's foreheads

Iranian Jew drinks chicken blood from a cup in front of us

Jewish rabbi swinging a chicken over someone's head to take away his sins
Every year for six days before Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement on October 2) some Jews perform the ritual "Kapparot." Kapparot is a custom in which the sins of a person are symbolically transferred to a fowl. The fowl is held above the person's head and swung in a circle three times while certain words are spoken. The fowl is then slaughtered so that the person may have a good, peaceful life. Sometimes the chickens are given to the poor as food but unfortunately the chickens are not always cared for or killed humanely.

In Los Angeles, California ritual animal sacrifice of any kind is illegal under Municipal Code SEC. 53.67. "No person shall engage in, participate in, assist in, or perform animal sacrifice. No person shall own, keep, possess or have custody of any animal with the purpose or intention of using such animal for animal sacrifice. No person shall knowingly sell, offer to sell, give away or transfer any animal to another person who intends to use such animal for animal sacrifice. 'Animal sacrifice' means the injuring or killing of any animal in any religious or cult ritual or as an offering to a deity, devil, demon or spirit, wherein the animal has not been injured or killed primarily for food purposes, regardless of whether all or any part of such animal is subsequently consumed."

The First Amendment "Freedom of Religion" does protect animal sacrifices except when a municipality or state has an existing animal cruelty statute that forbids it. If the religious sacrifice of an animal violates that statute, then the city or state can prosecute that act. If the animals as in this case were cared for, used or killed in a way that violates California's existing anti-cruelty statutes, then the defendants will not be able to fall back on the First Amendment as a defense. They would be guilty of animal cruelty which is punishable by a fine and/or jail time.

Kapparot is not mentioned in the Torah or in the Talmud. Several Jewish sages opposed the ritual, with some considering it a senseless heathen superstition. The Ramban (Nachmanides) and Rabbi Joseph Caro the compiler of the "Shulchan Aruch," the most authoritative code of Jewish laws called Kapparot "a foolish custom that Jews should avoid."

General Manager of LA Animal Services and ex-pastor Ed Boks stated, "Some of our nation's healthiest animal husbandry practices and laws originated in the ancient traditions of the Torah. Nowhere is the practice of Kapparot even mentioned in the Torah. It is a pagan tradition that has been muddled into the religious practices of a small Jewish sect. Kapparot should have no place in the 21st Century Los Angeles community."

Andrew Smith of Chicken Rescue asks people who customarily partake in this ritual to instead consider the humane and legal alternative. One may place money in a handkerchief and use this instead of a chicken. The money is then given to the poor. Former Chief Rabbi Israel Shlomo Goren stated, "Kapparot is not consistent with Jewish teachings and law. Repentance and charity can be better accomplished by using money instead of a slaughtered chicken."

Dr. Karen Davis President of United Poultry Concerns said, "Kapparot includes the pre-ritual cruelty to the chickens, who are forced to sit crammed together in their own excrement for days without food, water or shelter awaiting their terrible death. The mercy ascribed to God by those who seek God’s mercy for themselves is thus withheld from the chickens who have the same capacity for pain, fear and distress as human beings. That Kapparot is a medieval custom, and not a Jewish law, makes it even more reprehensible."

Dr. Richard Schwartz, a respected Jewish author & educator, stated: "The use of money rather than chickens is consistent with Judaism's powerful teachings on compassion to animals. At a season when we ask for God's compassion, we should have compassion on God's defenseless creatures." 

List of temples in Los Angeles which perform this inhumane ritual. Please, send simple polite letters asking them to stop. English is not their first language. 

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDAMary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.

Follow Mary Cummins Blog

Mary Cummins is one of the best, and funniest undercover journalists regarding the animal scene in Los Angeles.

Her latest posts are about Gary Michelson and Found Animal Friends.  Mary knows everyone in animal rescue and welfare in LA and has her opinions and fact on each.


I support tigers in Malibu--by Mary Cummins

I support tigers that want to move to Malibu - Mary Cummins, Animal Advocates

Animal Rights attorney Orly Degani and white tiger

White tiger enjoying the pool
I'm probably going to get some heat for this post but this must be said. The white tigers that want to move to Malibu are clients of one of my vets. They are not declawed or defanged. I have photos of the tigers in my page as I've visited them. Residents of Malibu and sheep owners have more to fear from wild mountain lions, coyotes than tigers in enclosures. If the tigers escaped, they would not eat a person or animal. Anyone remember what happened with the Moorpark tiger that escaped? It only knew how to eat cubed steak. It didn't kill any animals and lost a lot of weight when it had escaped for two weeks. 

They bought the tigers to rescue from a breeder. One was going to be euthanized and was very sick. I was there when it was very sick. The owners have a lot of money and just love tigers. Their move to Malibu is akin to the PAWS ARK 2000 elephant sanctuary in California. They are not circus or movie people by any means.

They only have an exhibit permit because that is the only way you can keep them legally. I have the same permit. If I don't have the exhibit permit, I must kill my sanctuary animals. I've taken animals from some of you that end up in sanctuary at my facility. Should I kill them instead? Should we kill all animals in all sanctuaries? I only take my skunk and opossum to events because they're easy to handle and enjoy getting praise and treats. All animal rescue sanctuaries must have this same permit. You must exhibit them a certain amount of time or you can't have the permit.

The animals are already here in Southern California. They just want to make a bigger, better enclosure and rescue a few more tigers. They have never escaped. They obviously can't be released back to the wild. They are not wild tigers but domestically bred tigers. They're white tigers.

Below are photos of animal rights attorney Orly Degani with the tiger. Also a photo of Dr. Jennifer Conrad with the tiger. The sisters exhibit the tigers for free for pro-animal education or animal causes such as the push to make declaw of big cats illegal. They support the Paw Project. I have photos in my page when they took the tiger to the Eco Station to support anti-declaw and educate people.

I personally know they get the best care, tons of enrichment and are in a huge enclosure many times larger than the legal requirements. I've met Irena Hauser and her sister Sophia Kryszek. They are true animals lovers and wonderful people.  They just want to move their facility to a bigger, better place. They chose that area because it is zoned for wild and exotic animals. The people who live there bought their homes knowing that it was zoned for exotic and wild animals. Quite a few have wild and exotic animals in that area. I support these two women and their plans. People should have probably talked to the sisters before jumping to all these false conclusions. 

Dr. Jennifer Conrad and white tiger client showing tiger's claws

Poison Dog Treats from China in the News Again!




March 16, 2012

When Kevin and Candace Thaxton's 10-year-old pug Chansey got sick late last year, the couple assumed at first it was simply old age. The small dog started showing symptoms of kidney failure -- drinking water excessively and urinating in the house. By the time the Thaxtons got her to a veterinarian, Chansey's kidneys 
had shut down and she was in extreme pain. She died two days later.

"It was so hard. It was just devastating," Kevin Thaxton told ABC News.

But the Thaxtons would go through the ordeal again just weeks later -- leading them to a new theory behind Chansey's death -- when their new Pekingese-mix puppy Penny exhibited the same symptoms, finally resulting in kidney failure. When Candace Thaxton stumbled on a Food and Drug Administration warning that there'd been an increase in complaints about chicken jerky dog treats made in China, she says she knew immediately what had happened to her beloved dogs.

"I grabbed the bag of treats and turned it over," Candace said. "At first I saw it said 'Manufactured in South Carolina' so I thought I was safe. Then I looked harder and it said 'Made in China' and I just said 'Oh no.' "

In just the past four months, the Food and Drug Administration has fielded over 530 complaints from pet owners claiming their dogs suffered illness or death after eating jerky treats made in China, officials tell ABC News. The FDA has issued three separate warnings about Chinese jerky treats in the past four years -- advising owners who give their pets the snacks to watch the dogs closely for signs of illness. But since the agency says it has yet to find a "definitive cause" for the mystery ailments, it hasn't blamed Chinese treats for the illnesses, it hasn't named any of the well-known American firms like Purina that sell them, and it hasn't recalled any of the products. Dog owners and legislators are now demanding action.

News of the possible risk to dogs comes at a time when the safety of imported food is being heavily scrutinized. On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control reported that foods imported from other countries are to blame for dozens of recent foodborne disease outbreaks. The CDC looked at outbreaks from 2005 to 2010 and concluded that 39 outbreaks and over 2,300 illnesses came from food imported into the U.S. Nearly 45 percent of the foods that caused the outbreaks came from Asia.

The FDA says it is actively investigating reports of illness and death and has been conducting tests on samples of the treats. An FDA spokesperson said the samples came from around the country but would not cite specific sources that provided the samples.

The FDA issued its first warning about chicken jerky treats from China in 2007, in response to the first wave of consumer complaints, and then issued a second in 2008. When the FDA issued a third warning in late 2011, based on another increase in complaints that year, it asked consumers to report any other purported incidents directly to the agency. Since that update, hundreds of dog owners have come forward to share their concerns. The Thaxtons, who say their dog Penny recovered after they stopped feeding her the treats, are now part of an angry population of pet owners who say the FDA hasn't done enough to protect their four-legged family members in the years it has known about the problem.

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I was checking Susie Burrows Facebook page yesterday, and felt such sadness and despair about the world. You know, when emotions are allowed to flow freely through you, they do not bite so deeply.  In a large sense, you see that even the strongest emotions are just events that pass through you, who are the witness, the container, and the affects themselves.

Yet, I felt a strong movement in me to act on the issue of the worldwide abuse of animals for food and fur, as well as pure sport.  I felt guilty I have not done more.

I think it is time that We Are Sentience and our Sangha, to get behind ending meat eating by developing a long term plan for ending meat eating, animal testing, the fur trade, etc.

I will have people meet with me with ideas to develop such a plan.

Some ideas are to:

Start taxing meat, as cigarettes were taxed, on ecological grounds, the damage they do to the environment.  Make it a progressive tax.  That is, each year there is an additional tax that is to be spent in several ways:  To detoxify the environment; to subsidize ranchers who want to go out of business; to subsidize private industry food manufacturers to develop new and tasty vegetarian alternatives to meat, that can give the same protein and other nutrients as supplied by meat, and taste like meat, so that meat eaters don't feel "robbed." These foods can also be subsidized at the retail level to bring down their costs, as often vegan prepared dishes cost much more than actual meat-added prepared meals.

Centralize data on all research regarding the negative health effects of meat.  I have seen several lately, but there should be a central place to publish this information.

Add warnings about the deleterious effects of meat on all retail foods containing meats.

Have advertisements on television, as with smoking, about the negative health effects of meat eating.

Have you noticed, you never see videos of how animals are slaughtered on regular or cable television.  You can find this on Youtube and other places, but never on mainstreat TV.  The meat industry is VERY sensitive to such images going to mass audiences, and either they object to TV stations, or the stations suppress the videos themselves as too awful or offensive to air.

Many people really don't want to see images of such suffering caused by their own meat eating, fur using, or the use of other animal products.  They even attack Facebook people who post such images as offensive, when the worst offense is that they do nothing.

If we join together an offer people a leading voice to end this continuous assault on our open hearts, on our consciences, maybe we can end meat eating within the US, or mostly end it, not in our lifetimes maybe, but within this century, then we will have done something that Robert Adams and Ramana would have been proud of.

FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2012

Mary Cummins appealing unjust Texas court ruling - Animal Advocates

Mary Cummins appealing unjust Texas court ruling 

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates

June 14, 2012 Judge William Brigham ruled in favor of Plaintiffs in the case Bat World Sanctuary v Mary Cummins. Cummins had reported Lollar to authorities for animal cruelty and animal neglect which she witnessed while at Bat World in Texas. She posted her reports and public documents online and was sued for defamation. Cummins is appealing this unjust ruling.

Mary Cummins an animal rescuer in Los Angeles, California reported Amanda Lollar of Bat World Sanctuary for animal cruelty, animal neglect and health code violations. Cummins witnessed Amanda Lollar performing surgery on bats when she is not a veterinarian and hasn't gone past the ninth grade. Bats were dying under Lollar's care. Cummins posted her findings on her website AnimalAdvocates.us.

Cummins also posted the results of Freedom of Information Act requests on her website. She posted complaints and reports made by others about Amanda Lollar and Bat World Sanctuary. The complaints stretching back 18 years were about animal cruelty, animal neglect, violations of the health code, violations of Texas Parks & Wildlife regulations, violations of the Animal Welfare Act, building violations and a report about a rabid bat biting a toddler directly next door to Bat World Sanctuary. 

Cummins also posted negative reports bat experts had made about Lollar's procedures. Lollar recommended freezing bats to death in her manual which is illegal and inhumane according to the American Veterinary Medication Association. Lollar also recommended the improper use of anesthesia which Lollar admitted caused some bats to die.

Amanda Lollar then sued Cummins for defamation. Plaintiffs in court did not prove that Cummins defamed Lollar. The essential elements of a defamation cause of action that must be proven in Texas are, (1) The defendant published a statement of fact, (2) The statement was defamatory, (3) The statement was false, (4) The defendant acted negligently in publishing the false and defamatory statement, and (5) The Plaintiffs suffered damages as a result. 

Plaintiffs did not prove that Cummins made all of the statements. Most of the items were the results of information act requests. They were public documents written by others. Cummins contends that everything she posted was the absolute truth. Plaintiffs did not prove that the items were false or that they suffered any financial damages.

Cummins was also sued for breach of contract. The essential elements of a breach of contract cause of action that must be proven are, (1) There is a valid contract; (2) The Plaintiffs performed or tendered performance according to the terms of the contract; (3) The Defendant breached the contract; and (4) The Plaintiffs sustained damages as a result of the breach.

Cummins contends she never signed a contract. Plaintiffs' own signature expert report stated that the signature on the contract was only "probable." It was not "strongly probable" or a "positive identification." Plaintiffs did not perform according to the contract. Cummins actions would have never been considered a breach. Plaintiffs showed no financial damages.

Even though Plaintiffs did not prove defamation or breach of contract Judge William Brigham ruled in favor of Plaintiffs. The Judge will soon sign an order to force Cummins to remove items from her website and others. The items are the results of information act requests. They are complaints made by others about animal cruelty, animal neglect and violations of the health code. The order will also include websites owned by others who were not a party to the action.

Cummins stated "I clearly did not defame Amanda Lollar or Bat World Sanctuary. I reported her for animal cruelty and neglect. I provided photos and videos to authorities besides detailed reports. Lollar just wants to hide these complaints from the public. Most of the items they want removed were written by others or are on websites I don't even control. I cannot possibly remove other people's websites or content. This order is overly broad."

Cummins continued "I most certainly did not sign their contract. Their own expert handwriting report did not state that I signed it. The authorship report by their so-called 'expert' Eric Shupps is also flawed. Shupps has never been an expert witness before in any case. He used a free beta software called JGAAP. The author of the program stated it cannot be used for court cases because of its inherent limitations. Shupps also used the writings of others as samples of my writing. Garbage in, garbage out. On top of this Shupps accused me of planting a Google bomb. Google bombs have been impossible since 2007."

When asked about the ruling Cummins replied, "I'm shocked because Plaintiffs did not show the essential elements for a claim of defamation or breach of contract. Then again I'm not shocked. Before one hearing Plaintiffs' attorney Randy Turner told me that he's known this judge for years. He insinuated that the Judge will automatically rule in his favor, and he did. There was a conflict of interest." 

Cummins stated she is contesting the Judge's order, requesting a new trial and appealing the decision. Cummins is currently suing Amanda Lollar and Bat World Sanctuary in Federal court in California for libel and defamation.

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates rescues ill, injured and orphaned native wildlife for release back to the wild.http://www.AnimalAdvocates.us


Please can-will somebody help me?

I was forced to move, I stayed in a garage for two nights with my cats two cats got out of the garage early tues morning my nuetered male he is domestic.

My ferel female won't come to me or anybody she was just beginning to sleep on my legs at night after having her 1 year I am now staying in El Monte. She, the ferel kitty is not spayed I know shame on me..no transportation she the ferel kitty is in Alhambra I go every night from 4:00pm to midnight with a carrier on the bus to look for her I take food I have seen 3 cats that might be her though its so dark and she is black I am unable to see good enough. I need to get a flashlight, I need to trap her at where I stayed before I had to move, she wont come to me, the people where I lived before tell me I cant go on the property? no idea why I told them once I get my cat I wont be back! 

Please can a volunteer help me? I need somebody with a trap that has transportation and is willing to help me get my baby female ferel home, I have difficulty sleeping knowing she is out there after she has been an indoor cat for 1 year now, I rescued her as a kitten she had ear mites, fleas and a touch of mange and was starving we took care of all that and I did handle her alot and well my other cats miss her too! Please help!!!

Thank you so much

An incomplete story


A Letter from a Shelter Manager - anonymous in North Carolina

I think our society needs a huge "Wake-up" call. As a shelter manager, I am going to share a little insight with you all...a view from the inside if you will.

First off, all of you breeders/sellers should be made to work in the "back" of an animal shelter for just one day. Maybe if you saw the life drain from a few sad, lost, confused eyes, you would change your mind about breeding and selling to people you don't even know.

That puppy you just sold will most likely end up in my shelter when it's not a cute little puppy anymore. So how would you feel if you knew that there's about a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it is going to be dumped at? Purebred or not! About 50% of all of the dogs that are "owner surrenders" or "strays", that come into my shelter are purebred dogs.

The most common excuses I hear are; "We are moving and we can't take our dog (or cat)." Really? Where are you moving too that doesn't allow pets? Or they say "The dog got bigger than we thought it would". How big did you think a German Shepherd would get? "We don't have time for her". Really? I work a 10-12 hour day and still have time for my 6 dogs! "She's tearing up our yard". How about making her a part of your family? They always tell me "We just don't want to have to stress about finding a place for her we know she'll get adopted, she's a good dog".

Odds are your pet won't get adopted & how stressful do you think being in a shelter is? Well, let me tell you, your pet has 72 hours to find a new family from the moment you drop it off. Sometimes a little longer if the shelter isn't full and your dog manages to stay completely healthy. If it sniffles, it dies. Your pet will be confined to a small run/kennel in a room with about 25 other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps. It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the family that abandoned it. If your pet is lucky, I will have enough volunteers in that day to take him/her for a walk. If I don't, your pet won't get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose. If your dog is big, black or any of the "Bully" breeds (pit bull, rottie, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door.

Those dogs just don't get adopted. It doesn't matter how 'sweet' or 'well behaved' they are.

If your dog doesn't get adopted within its 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed. If the shelter isn't full and your dog is good enough, and of a desirable enough breed it may get a stay of execution, but not for long . Most dogs get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression. Even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment. If your pet makes it over all of those hurdles chances are it will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and will be destroyed because shelters just don't have the funds to pay for even a $100 treatment.

Here's a little euthanasia 101 for those of you that have never witnessed a perfectly healthy, scared animal being "put-down".

First, your pet will be taken from its kennel on a leash. They always look like they think they are going for a walk happy, wagging their tails. Until they get to "The Room", every one of them freaks out and puts on the brakes when we get to the door. It must smell like death or they can feel the sad souls that are left in there, it's strange, but it happens with every one of them. Your dog or cat will be restrained, held down by 1 or 2 vet techs depending on the size and how freaked out they are. Then a euthanasia tech or a vet will start the process. They will find a vein in the front leg and inject a lethal dose of the "pink stuff". Hopefully your pet doesn't panic from being restrained and jerk. I've seen the needles tear out of a leg and been covered with the resulting blood and been deafened by the yelps and screams. They all don't just "go to sleep", sometimes they spasm for a while, gasp for air and defecate on themselves.

When it all ends, your pets corpse will be stacked like firewood in a large freezer in the back with all of the other animals that were killed waiting to be picked up like garbage. What happens next? Cremated? Taken to the dump? Rendered into pet food? You'll never know and it probably won't even cross your mind. It was just an animal and you can always buy another one, right?

I hate my job, I hate that it exists & I hate that it will always be there unless you people make some changes and realize that the lives you are affecting go much farther than the pets you dump at a shelter.

Between 4 and 5 MILLION animals die every year in shelters and only you can stop it. I do my best to save every life I can but rescues are always full, and there are more animals coming in everyday than there are homes.


Mary Cummins her lawsuit against Boks and the city on her blog

This blog started a little after Mary started her two blogs. I kinow some of the things she says in her post below to be true, and some other things, I suspect are true.  Then again, there is much that she says that I had no previous knowledge of.

Mary Cummins-Cobb vs City of LA, Ed Boks - Animal Advocates, Mary Cummins
This post is to clear up some misconceptions about my lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and Ed Boks. Rick Orlov asked me for a comment for his article but my lawyer told me not to comment. I signed no confidentiality clause even though Ed Boks wanted me to sign one. I can share the settlement agreement. It is not confidential. l received 60% of $130,000  plus an award from the Department. I will reply to all of these allegations in this article. My reply will be in blue.

"$130,000 to settle sex harassment suit against outgoing Animal Services director

By Rick Orlov, Staff Writer
Posted: 05/01/2009 07:49:35 PM PDT

Animal Services Director Ed Boks, seen here in a March 27 file photo, is leaving the post amid controversy. (Tina Burch/Staff Photographer)
In one of the last official actions involving departing Animal Services Director Ed Boks, the City Council on Friday approved paying $130,000 to settle a sexual harassment suit filed by a former worker.
Mary Cumins-Cobb, who worked briefly as an Web master for the city agency, claimed that Boks subjected her to harassment that included lewd comments, inappropriate touching and showing up drunk on her doorstep to ask her for a date, according to court documents.

l offered the City a free website from 2001 to 2005. They never accepted my offer. January 2006 soon after Boks became the new GM the Mayor's office told me to meet with him. l had no idea why l was meeting with him. Boks told me that the Mayor's office said l offered a free new website. He told me to create a new website which l did as a volunteer. 

Within five minutes of meeting him Boks was already talking about inappropriate things which l ignored. After only a week he asked me out to dinner even though he had a girlfriend. I ignored his offer hoping he'd get the hint. l was living with my boyfriend which I made sure to mention frequently.

She claimed she was fired for rejecting his advances and that she also lost her job with a private animal foundation because of Boks.
The settlement of the Los Angeles Superior Court suit, filed in 2007, now goes to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for approval

l was fired because l rejected his advances. I was also fired because Boks blamed me for the blogs. l set up his blog and another blog for him. l did not post on his blog. l in fact told him many times not to post what he emailed me yet he did. l did not make all the posts on the other blog. l still have a copy of that blog with the identities of everyone who posted on it. Boks wrote some of the posts, so did people who worked in the Department besides others. When the blogs became a heated issue, Jimmy Blackman from the Mayor's office told Boks to shut it down. Boks never told me that. He continued to write the blogs and encourage people to post on it. l was fired because of the scandal the blogs caused. l was the scapegoat. In fact after I was fired Boks then blamed me for all the mistakes he made, even mistakes he made after l was fired.

PDF: Complaint filed against Los Angeles Animal Services General Manager Ed Boks by Mary K. Cummins-Cobb
Aides said he would have no comment.
Councilman Tony Cardenas, who has criticized Boks for his handling of the department, said he hoped the general manager's recent resignation and the settlement of the suit will enable the city to move forward.
"These issues have become a distraction within Animal Services," Cardenas said. "I hope this will allow the department to refocus its goals and reinvest in its commitment toward becoming a no-kill city," Cardenas said.
Boks said he was advised by the City Attorney's Office to not comment on the case.
Cummins-Cobb said she was prohibited from discussing the suit or the settlement.

My lawyer told me not to comment for this article. l regret not commenting because there are so many errors. Rick Orlov is not to blame for the errors. Rick is a very nice guy and a good writer even though he misspelled my name in the first paragraph.

In court documents, Cummins-Cobb said she began volunteering with the Animal Services Department in 2001 and was hired in March 2006 to help with the department's Web site.

l built the new website for free from January to March. Boks was having me spend many hours a day adding pages, making edits. l finally told him l have to work so l can pay my bills. He then said he would ask the Foundation to pay me. The Department at that time had no webmaster. She went on maternity leave then she quit because she hated the Department and job. She then went to work for Chameleon/Pet Harbor. l think l started getting paid around March 2006.

She said the hourly position was funded through a grant from the Found Animal Foundation, which had employed her in February 2006.

l was hired as an independent contractor for the Found Animals Foundation. Dr. Gary Michelson offered me the job after he saw my presentation at the Ed Boks "Meet and Greet" when l unveiled the new website. Everyone loved the new website. 

Soon after being hired by the city, she said in her complaint, Boks began to engage in "inappropriate and unprofessional conduct" with her, including touching, hugging and trying to kiss her.
Although she rebuffed his advances, Cummins-Cobb said she was assured she would not be fired.
But she said the inappropriate behavior continued. Court documents said Boks used vulgar and sexual language, emailed or phoned her up to 20 times a day, frequently asked her out and also showed at her house, uninvited and apparently under the influence of alcohol.

Boks engaged in inappropriate behavior with many, many female rescuers, not just me. l would tell him repeatedly, don't go out with local animal people. He said they were the only women he was meeting even though he had a page on Match.com and a girlfriend in New York. l also told him to stop putting these inappropriate things in writing. Someone could do an info act request and get a copy then he'd be fired. l told him if he was going to write something he didn't want the world to see that he should use the phone instead.  He could not stop drunk emailing. l thought he would never fire me because he put the most inappropriate things in writing. lf he were to fire me, of course l'd turn over all the emails, which l ultimately did. Boks admitted to all of his inappropriate acts in email and even apologized, again, in email. He also shared emails from the Mayor's office, City attorney, Bob Ferber, Commissioners, employees, rescuers....

The documents also claim Boks asked Cummins-Cobb to post anonymous blog comments defending him from Internet attacks written by critics. She said her identity was quickly revealed, and that animal activists subsequently spread false rumors about her to city officials.
Among the lies told about her by activists, she said in documents, was "that she was a `911 terrorist,' `a prostitute,' and `a practitioner of squirrel pornography."'

Boks wrote some of the posts, so did others with the Department including Commissioners. The rest is true.

Cummins-Cobb said she was forced to remain inside her house because of the activists and lost her job with the Found Animal Foundation because of Boks. In July 2006, she said she was fired by the city.
Boks continued to harass her, the documents said, calling her up to 10 times a day and asking her for sex, documents said. When she refused, she said, her permit to work as a wildlife rescuer was not renewed.

l did lose my job at the Foundation because of Boks. The blog and Boks became a scandal. The head of the Foundation, Dave didn't like Ed Boks. He knew all about his tricks with the numbers. l didn't yet realize that Boks was failing and euthanasia had increased. Boks had us all fooled into thinking euthanasia was down. l supported him because l thought he was saving animals' lives. l could not have been more wrong. l stopped supporting Boks when l saw the annual numbers. Things had not improved. l shut down the other blog at that time.

Boks did call me repeatedly. He'd call, l wouldn't pick up because l saw it was him and l knew he was drunk, he'd leave a message, instantly call again and again and again. He lived close to me and would just drive over drunk out of his mind in a City vehicle. 

My wildlife permit was renewed. The problem was the permit officers insisted on inspecting my house again. They only inspected me the first year. There was no such thing as an annual inspection. The permit officers did not like me because Ed Boks embarrassed them at the Banksy art show. In front of people he called them on not looking at the paint or checking the temperature in the trailer as l had. Boks has very poor people skills. l complained about this new "annual" inspection. Boks did not stop them from inspecting my house. They came to my house and looked at everything except my caging. The caging is the only thing they are supposed to inspect. No one else was inspected annually.

In their written response to her complaint, city officials said Cummins-Cobb was a volunteer and was never paid by the city as an employee. Boks said in his written declaration that the city never submitted invoices to the foundation for her work.

I was never a City employee. Boks sent a request to the Foundation to hire me to work for him. l was told by Dave to do whatever Boks needed. l was also still legally a volunteer for the Department at the same time but that involved work in the shelters. 

In his statement he also implied it was not his own decision to let Cummins-Cobb go.
"I was advised in mid-2006 to release Ms. Cummins as a volunteer," he said, without specifying who advised him.

Jimmy Blackman from the Mayor's office told him to fire me. So did the City Attorney. They told him to fire me because of the flak they were getting because of the blogs. lt was basically ADL and three or four mentally ill people who complained about the blogs. The letter the City sent to me said "thanks for all your wonderful help but we no longer need it." Boks didn't even warn me that l was going to get a letter or get fired. He felt bad so he wrote me a letter of recommendation which l will dig up and post. He predated the letter of recommendation. You can tell because the commissioners are different. 

Here is the kicker. After l was fired from the Foundation, lost my grant and was fired as a volunteer for the City, Boks accepted all responsibility for my firing in writing and apologized. He told me he would make it up to me. He promised me he would find me a new job with Best Friends. l would be making the same amount of money. He said l would do their website and work for them. He kept saying he just had to get together with me for dinner to go over the details. By then l'd wised up a little so l told him just to hook me up with the job over the phone, no need for dinner. After a month of him begging l agreed to meet for drinks in a very public place. l wore a suit. He showed up tipsy then drank four more drinks. He asked to come over to my place and l said no. He showed up later with a bottle of booze at my door acting totally drunk. My boyfriend was in San Francisco for the weekend. l knew Boks couldn't drive any farther without getting in a major accident so l let him come in and crash on the sofa. l had a fear if he got a DUI, he'd be fired. After he did some crying about how kittens were ruining his numbers he passed out. He woke up late the next morning missing his first few appointments. He later emailed me that he had a great time. He obviously blacked out and remembered nothing but wanted to cover his bases just in case.

Gary Michelson, CEO of the Found Animal Foundation, said in a written court declaration that Cummins-Cobb was fired from the foundation because of the quality of her work and not because of pressure from the city.
"When I saw her work, I was also dissatisfied with the quality of her work," Michelson said in the declaration. "Because of her poor performance, we terminated our relationship with Cummins. No one at the City of Los Angeles influenced or attempted to influence my decision."

Dr. Gary Michelson is a liar. Michelson did not fire me. The head of his Foundation Dave fired me. Dave said he wanted to "take the Foundation in a different direction" which just meant l was fired. He mentioned the blogs and Boks while he fired me. Michelson wasn't even in town when l was fired. Michelson always told me he loved my work. We corresponded back and forth. He told me he didn't even know that l was fired. Then Michelson yelled at Dave for not paying me. He told Dave that he liked my work. He asked Dave why he fired me. Dave told me all of this. 

Keep in mind my lawyer Solomon Gresen did a horrible job with my case. He did such a horrible job that l reported him to the bar. Besides many other violations Solomon Gresen never gave me a copy of any document he sent or received. lt turns out he also never read the City's reply to the complaint. He's the type of lawyer who files many lawsuits to try to get a settlement or two. He never read Michelson's statement. lt came up in mediation six months later. The mediator said my boss said he fired me. l called up Dave who was my boss and he said he made no such statement. l thought it was another bluff from the City. First time l saw Michelson's statement was when l asked Rick Orlov for it. BTW the mediator stated that she felt my lawyer committed malpractice.

l was totally shocked when l saw the statement. All the time l was working with the City l was supporting, protecting, defending Michelson and his strange behavior when no one else was. Michelson did indeed promise the Mayor money if he hired Ed Boks. The Mayor's office kept asking me "where's the money?" They said "Michelson is a flake, he promised money, where is it, he's crazy." Boks was saying the same things. Boks even said that he was "strange looking" and "gay." l still defended Michelson because l thought he was saving animals' lives with his Foundation. l thought he truly would make LA "nokill" as he promised. l was again wrong. 

After Gary Michelson fired his Foundation Director Dave, Michelson started spreading false rumors about Dave saying he embezzled money from his Foundation. Dave did not embezzle money. Michelson just got buyer's remorse after giving money to Dave for his pet kiosks and microchips. Michelson tried to file a police report with LAPD but they refused to take the report because no crime had been committed. Michelson asked the Mayor's office and Ed Boks to tell LAPD to arrest Dave. They called LAPD who told them there was no crime and Michelson is crazy and a liar. Michelson gave the money to Dave. ln the meantime Gary is telling everyone that Dave will be arrested. l would even tell Michelson where Dave was. Gary asked me to write a statement about Dave and l said yes. l never did write a statement. Also FTR l never signed a confidentiality agreement with Michelson. l was asked but they never gave me one to sign. 

Michelson kept libeling, slandering, defaming Dave. Dave finally sued him. Michelson quickly settled. After l saw Michelson's libelous statement about me l contacted the same lawyer so he could sue Michelson. He said Michelson is very mean and nasty. He doesn't want to have to go up against him again. l couldn't find anyone that was willing to go up against Michelson because of his reputation of being very nasty in legal battles. 

Boks resigned in April after a turbulent few months in which he faced harsh criticism for his decision to abruptly end a voucher program offering coupons to reduce the cost of spay and neutering pets.
The City Council had authorized the vouchers to help residents comply with a law requiring the sterilizatoin of all pets six months or older - a program advocated by Boks.

Boks was fired. He did not resign. He threatened to sue the City. They decided to make it look like he resigned so he could try to find work somewhere else. His golden handshake was two months worth of salary. He did the same when he was fired/left New York and Arizona. He was basically fired from NY and AZ because of audits which showed poor performance. He was also sued for racial discrimination in NY and lost. Boks even got the Mayor of LA to write a letter saying "thanks for your service" kind of like the one the City wrote to me. FTR Boks wrote and signed my termination letter. 

Under pressure from council members and saying he was suffering some health problems, Boks resigned effective June 30.
He is using vacation and medical leave this month and plans to work during June to help in transistion.
Neither Villaraigosa or the Animal Services Commission have released any guidelines on their plan to hire a successor. It has been a difficult post to keep filled. The city has had five directors in the past 10 years.

lt's a very difficult position. l wouldn't wish the GM position on my worst enemy. Dealing with the Union, City red tape, employees, rescuers, volunteers is a very tough job. 

Best Friends to Run Valley Shelter---Yeah!

This is the best thing to happen to LAAS since Barnette was hired. She started her job August 15, 2010. I know friends of mine plan on doing a one year review of the shelters' progress statistically soon. But this act and disarming the animal police bodes well for the future.  Winograd was on the mind that real change can only happen in LA if the shelters go private.

Nonprofit to run city shelter

 Alarcón opposes deal, saying other operators should have been considered.

By Rick Orlov
 Staff Writer

Overriding complaints about the bidding process, the City Council on Tuesday approved a three-year contract with a non­profit group to operate the vacant Northeast Animal Shel­ter in Mission Hills.
Best Friends Animal Society will have a three-year contract with options for two additional years to operate the $19.5 mil­lion shelter at 15321 S. Brand Blvd.

Councilman Richard Alarcón, whose district includes the shel­ter,
 opposed the action, saying the city had failed to consider other potential operators.

“We don’t know what we could have got because we didn’t talk to anyone else,” Alarcón said.

But officials said they had reached out to potential bidders in letters and on the city website and Best Friends was the only group to respond.
The mission-style shelter was built in 2008 with revenue from a voter-approved bond issue, but never operated at full capac­ity because of city funding short­falls.

Before it was closed this sum­mer, it housed problem animals or those whose owners were in jail or involved in a criminal cases.

“The voters of the northeast San Fernando Valley came out in high numbers and they were promised a full service shelter. And they aren’t getting it.”

— RICHARD ALARCÓN, city councilman

Under the terms of the contract, Best Friends will be able to stage adoption events, provide spay-and-neuter services and issue dog licenses. However, animal control actions will remain under the jurisdiction of the Department of Animal Services. 

The plan is one of several ideas the city is looking at to increase the involvement of private groups in government programs. The city is also looking at a public-private partnership involving management of the Los Angeles Zoo, and earlier this year examined, but then dropped, a plan to lease out city parking garages. It may also consider private involvement in managing the Convention Center. 

City officials say such efforts are the best way to keep offering services at a time of severe budget crunches, but some critics question whether the city is giving up too much control of its operations to the private sector. Some unions also worry that increased privatization will lead to cuts in city jobs or salary decreases. 

Animal Services Director Brenda Barnette said she would be unable to open the Mission Hills facility with the budget she has now. 

She added that the city also plans to reach out to other nonprofits to operate the new South Los Angeles shelter opening in several months. Because of the controversy over the Northeast Shelter, she said the city will issue a formal request for proposals before contracting with an operator. 

Barnette has said the deal with Best Friends will help the city avoid having to euthanize 250 to 400 animals per month. To keep it open under city management would have required diverting city workers from other shelters, reducing their hours and increasing euthanasia rates. 

Best Friends has promised to invest more than $1 million in the Northeast Shelter and believes it will be able to provide 3,000 adoptions in its first year. It also predicts it will spay or neuter 6,000 animals. 

City officials have estimated they could save up to $3.3 million a year by having Best Friends run the shelter. 

Francis Battista, founder of the organization, said his sole goal is saving animals’ lives. 

“Our model has the demonstrated ability,” Battista said. “The best way is a partnership with a strong nonprofit to reduce shelter killings.” 

Best Friends is headquartered in Utah, but has operated in Los Angeles since 1991. Alarcón said he was concerned about the city negotiating only with Best Friends when several other organizations — including the Amanda Foundation and the SPCA — said they would have bid for the operation if they were aware of it. 

“Something is wrong here,” Alarcón said. “It looks bad to only talk to one organization and we aren’t getting the full service from this shelter. It was built for 350 animals and they are only taking 50 or 100. That leaves 250 other animals out there. 

“I would have hoped the city could have done more with this shelter that we promised the voters. The voters of the northeast San Fernando Valley came out in high numbers and they were promised a full service shelter. And they aren’t getting it.” 



Hans Gutknecht Staff Photographer 

The Northeast Animal Shelter in Mission Hills was built in 2008 with revenue from a voter-approved bond issue, but it never operated at full capacity because of funding woes.