I just talked today to Carl Friedman, head of San Francisco's Animal Care and Control. He said last month they had an 85% real live save rate. By that, he meant 85% of live animals that came in made it out alive, including neonates.
The only exception is if an animal came in very ill or injured AND the owner requested euthanasia, AND the department vet felt it necessary. Otherwise it would be impounded and treated as any other impound for statistical purposes. This would bring the live save rate down 2-3%. We don't know anymore whether Boks still includes owner requested euthanasia in LAAS' Euth statistics anymore as once they did.
For the past 12 months, the live save rate in SF has been 82%. Friedman says they do not use any of the bullshit-speak about adoptable, treatable or other ways to artificially decrease the kill rate. Live in--live out.
He said a lot of other shelter directors use false statistics and spin to get their euth stats down, and said he could come to LA and within hours prove he saved 115% of all animals coming in just by use of words and statistics. He said he could prove the dept even brought animals back from the dead if he wanted to.
Boks and Bickhart have repeatedly said their biggest stumbling block to turning the department around is the union and civil service. Bickhart used to say Boks turned a 2 cylinder dept into a 4 cylinder dept during 2006. When I asked him why that didn't translate into a higher save rate in 2006, his response was that I'd probably know better than he.
Friedman's response to the claim of union and civil service hindrances to reform was that there are seven different unions representing employees in his department, not one as in LA, and he says his dept has every conceivable civil service protection and regulation possible. He said Boks or Bickhart can call him at any time to discuss anything, but he'd prefer them not talking behind his back downplaying San Francisco's success. (They claim SF does not count neonates)
SFACC&C is a full service municipal shelter; they cannot refuse any animal. They turn over a fair proportion of their impounds to the SFSPCA which has an even higher save rate of 94%. The total combined save rate for SF according to Winograd was 87% eight months ago when he made that statement.
Subsequently Friedman's municipal shelter save rate increased from 80 to 82%, so the combined live save rate may cuurently be as high as 89% (less SFAC&C's 3%). Friedman says other shelter managers badmouth San Francisco's success because they are jealous, no more and no less.
Sick animals were abused to get them to stand up to pass inspection, undercover video shows. Use of meat from 'downer' cows is banned.
By Sarah D. Wire, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer January 31, 2008
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday that it was investigating a Chino-based supplier of meat to the National School Lunch Program after release of a video showing slaughterhouse workers using inhumane and illegal practices on weak and sick cows.
The video, presented by the Humane Society of the United States at a news conference Wednesday morning, showed workers at Hallmark Meat Packing using forklifts to pick up and roll animals too weak to stand and forcing sick or weak cows to stand by shooting high-pressure water sprays into their nostrils or repeatedly shocking them with electricity.
Video: Humane Society slaughterhouse investigation (WARNING: Graphic content)
Federal and California laws prohibit the slaughter of "downer" cattle -- those that cannot stand or walk -- for the human food supply, to prevent both animal cruelty and the consumption of meat from unhealthy animals.Meat processed at Hallmark is distributed by Westland Meat Co., also of Chino.
According to the USDA, Westland sold 27 million pounds of frozen meat last year to federal food and nutrition programs, including those that provide school lunches and meals for the poor and elderly. Nearly 8 million pounds of that meat went to programs in California; of that amount, more than 5.7 million pounds was used in the Los Angeles area.
The Humane Society said the hidden-camera video was taken by a person who worked at the plant for six weeks last year as part of an undercover investigation by the group. Within hours of the video's release, the USDA suspended Westland's participation in the food and nutrition programs and placed a hold on all products destined for the programs.
The undercover investigation found workers using "Herculean efforts to get 'downers' into the kill box," Pacelle said."The attempt was to make them so distressed and to cause them so much suffering that these animals would get up and walk into the slaughterhouse," he said. "If they could walk past [the inspector] or even just stand, they would pass.
The company obtained the video Tuesday after the Washington Post reported its existence.Magidow said the employees shown in the video had worked in the slaughterhouse for many years and "felt they knew how to handle these animals better than we do."U.S.
Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer issued a news release late Wednesday expressing confidence in the food inspection system, while adding that he was "deeply concerned" about the Humane Society's allegations. But he faulted the society, which he said "did not present this information to us when these alleged violations occurred in the fall of 2007. Had we known at the time the alleged violations occurred, we would have initiated our investigation sooner and taken appropriate actions at that time."
According to the November 23, 2007 Commission minutes:
In the current fiscal year (07-08), the Mayor and the Council approved a 5% efficiency cut for the Department’s Budget. Although $20 million was needed to pay all the Department’s salaries, $1 million was cut. The Department however, was able to survive the reduction because the Mission Valley Animal Care Center and the expanded Harbor Animal Care Center did not open.
For next year’s Budget, the Mayor has instructed the Department to somehow establish requested additional or expanded programs with the budget that the Department already has.
The City of Los Angeles has negotiated an agreement with the unions representing many of the Department’s employees, which Council will soon approve, that will give a cost of living adjustment of a 2% increase as of past July, another 2% increase this upcoming January, and another 3% increase next July, for a net total of a 7% increase in salaries.
Additionally the Mayor has also asked for an 8% efficiency cut in Department budgets. In order to meet the Mayor’s request, the Department is proposing to execute one or a combination of the following scenarios:
Not open one of the new animal care centers.
Close one of the centers to the public and use it as a training facility and a center to hold evidence animals.
Reduce the operation hours of the animal care centers.
It sounds like the 8% cut is across the board while the 7% hike was just for salaries. Depending on who you talk to or what you read, the current budget is from $20 million to $34 million depending on whether you count paper clips or PERS contributions.
Boks would like the last solution as it would cut his already faked kill numbers by 15%.
Imagine, Stuckey hid his numbers thinking he was not doing a good job cutting killing by 11%. Boks knows he is not doing a good job and fakes numbers that proclaim he is cutting killing by 11% (or 7%, or 15%, or 23%, or...)
By Rick Orlov
Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine issued a sharp rebuke Monday as the heavy rain flooding Los Angeles recently has exposed problems at some new city animal shelters, where plastic sheeting is being used to protect animals and prevent flooding in kennels.
Zine said use of the sheeting at the city's Northeast Animal Center at 3201 Lacy St. is an affront to taxpayers who approved a $160 million bond in 2000 to build seven new shelters.
Told Monday that the city now might need to pay $180,000 or more from the bond to correct deficiencies in the shelter designs - modeled after shelters used in Pasadena - Zine erupted.
"How often do we have to ask the taxpayers to pay for our mistakes?" Zine said. "This is outrageous. I get so frustrated at the incompetence I see happening over and over."
Zine was told the city had worked with the humane community to develop and approve modern designs for the shelters that now make it difficult to require contractors to make repairs without compensation.
"What bothers me is the lack of oversight on these facilities," Zine said. "They designed these and I'm not sure they really looked at our needs here. Here we have brand new shelters and we have tarps up to protect the animals.
"What I want is for the contractor to pay ... to fix the problems. But I want a report on all these shelters." Zine said residents alerted him to the problem and said he understands there might be similar problems at shelters in the San Fernando Valley.
Councilman Ed Reyes asked for a report on problems at each of the shelters, along with steps needed to improve the facilities.
Comment: What is not mentioned here is it is the City's engineering department that designed and oversaw the project, but Linda Gordon told the engineering dept. what she wanted. Nothing is mentioned about input from the animal community.
From the Engineering Dept. website:
Program Manager - Bureau of Engineering: Kiran Vohra
Dept. Animal Services Representative: Linda Gordon
Project Managers - Bureau of Engineering: Al Bazzi; Alan Espiritu; Pradeep Ranade; Hoi Van Luc.
Boks claims a 2007 kill rate of 45%.
Before Boks in 2005, the kill rate was 56.9%.
Under Boks the first year in 2006, it climbed .1% to 57%.
If you add the 2% died in shelter rates for both years, the real kill rate was 59%.
The sample of Mason's cats was 65%.
I think it safe to say the real kill rate is 60% or better.
Pet Press' latest issue is out, Volume 9, Issue 4. Go get it. Tippi Hedren is on the cover.
Lori Golden basically accuses Animal Services/Boks/ACTF of staging a bust for publicly and thanks City TV35 by showing images that reveal the fraudulence of the raid (my wording).
She states Mason was likely busted because he reached out for help and that made him a perfect patsy for a staged raid.
She states she was shocked by what she saw on City TV35:
"Ron Mason was the most docile animal 'hoarder' there ever could be. Possibly because he wasn't guilty. Mr Mason stood there, calmly answering all the questions asked of him about the cats found on his property.
"Here is what really disturbed me. Ron Mason explained how he wasn't even a cat person until neighborhood cats started coming around his house. Like any humane person would do, he fed them. So more cats came around. And neighbors dumped cats on his property, because he was feeding them. He tried to get help from LA Animal Services with spaying and neutering. He took cats that were ill to his veterinarian. He constantly reached out for help, which in the end is probably what did him in."
Go see the rest of the article for yourselves and email your comments to Council and Bratten. Let everyone know what LAAS is really like.
In the last post I showed that Animal Services killed 65% of Mason’s cats in an alleged “hoarder” raid. I said this is a sample of the real death rate in LA’s (Boks) shelters.
This is true only if the sample is representative. Boks will say it is not, that Mason’s cats were in much worse health than average, and that is why he killed almost 50% more.
We know that is crap.
So, let’s see how a real rescue organization handles an alleged hoarder situation.
Yesterday I go an email from Cristi Metropole’s Stray Cat Alliance.
They went to a rescue on a call about a hoarder in Northridge—the same area Mason lives in--about a large number of ill and dying cats in a house owned by an ill 80 year old woman. There were over 41 cats there. One was found dead, one died during treatment on the spot.
The cats had not been fed in days nor given water. Naturally they did not receive medical care.
This is a far worse situation than with Mason where they were fed, given shelter and water and given some medical care—maybe not up to the high Fatal Plus care of Animal Services.
Apparently 40 plus cats were thus rescued alive. We will know after 4 days how many are still alive, whether it is Animal Services’ 35% or a much higher percentage, such as 85% from Stray Cat Alliance. This is a unique situation where we can compare Animal Services’ kill rate of killing “hoarder” animals with that of a compassionate private organization with compassionate volunteers.
This will be a true test of Animal Services’ competence and compassion.
Donation info is on the link above.
As the writer of a previous post pointed out, the real kill rate in Boks’ shelters is euthanasia + died in shelter + missing. This number is a couple of thousand higher than Boks’ numbers show.
Once Boks allegedly gained control of impound and disposition numbers, they began to fluctuate wildly as he, “adjusted them for accuracy.” Then the kill stats plummeted.
Early in 2006, Boks began stuffing the shelters with animals that brought the euthanasia rate down significantly through April, but rose sharply thereafter, and at the end of the year there was no improvement over 2005.
So Ed’s figures have improved based on three factors, his ability to control the numbers, refusing kittens and pit bulls, and warehousing animals.
He did the same in NYC. The numbers posted in NYC have radically changed over the past 12 months in response to very different numbers found by Maddies’ Fund counts in NYC vs. Boks’ numbers vs. numbers supplied by the Mayor’s Alliance, which appear to be based on rabies certificate numbers supplied to the state. Boks’ 2005 figures appear to be about 11% lower than Alliance figures and have been adjusted upwards since he left showing the real drop in killing under him was 3% and 6% for 2004 and 2005.
Boks’ numbers are not to be trusted, especially since May of this year.
So how many animals do our shelters actually kill each year?
Since we cannot trust Boks’ numbers anymore, and he refuses complete access to Chameleon impound and disposition numbers, we are left with the statistician’s method: find the kill rate within a known sample of animals impounded.
How do we get this sample?
The number of animals impounded by a raid on suspected hoarders is often expressed by Boks in a press release. However, we do not know how many animals actually survived even 4 days after a raid, and he refuses access to those records under the guise that he cannot release them because the case is under investigation. He hid both the location and numbers of cats alive from those impounded from Mason for over three months.
Mason estimated he actually has seen 22 cats alive. He has subsequently been told there are no more of his cats at other shelters; therefore, 22 surviving is it.
Altogether, 64 cats were impounded including 28 kittens, but only 59 by the shelter’s count. Mason said they actually took 12 kittens before the raid but they only listed 6 on the list given to him on October 9. At least on that date they did give him a list of animals.
Therefore, out of the 64 (or 59) cats taken, 22 are left alive.
Therefore, anywhere from 37 to 42 cats were killed immediately after impound, and I assume within a day or two instead of the Hayden Act mandated 4 days. I assume this is why Boks is hiding Chameleon documentation.
This yields a real kill rate of between 63% and 66%, or about 43% more than Boks claims are his kill figures for cats (45%).
The kill rate for kittens is much higher. Of 28 impounded, 25 were killed for a kill rate of 89%, worse even than LA County.
Boks may claim that Mason’s cats were in worse shape than an average sample of cats coming in. That’s bull. Does he really expect us to believe that all of the kittens and cats coming in from owner release, feral kittens and old cats were much healthier than Mason’s when he was feeding them, giving water, shelter and medical treatment? Are ferals in the street or parking lot, as well as sick and old cats surrendered in any better shape than Mason’s?
Did not Lt. Boswell say Mason’s cats had food, water and shelter—everything they needed, and that’s why the cats sought out his property?
So Boks can dance and dance with numbers all he wants, but we have a large sample of cats where the kill rate is far higher than Boks' claimed numbers.
This means we have an objective way to check Boks’ numbers: check the kill rate of cats and dogs taken during alleged hoarder raids.
Mr. Boks. Please get your records in order because you can expect Requests for Public Records on all animal busts during 2007. Then we will know your true kill rate.
Despite the fact det. Linda Ortega said she'd return Mason's confiscated records within a week, nothing has been returned to Ron nor has anyone told him anything about when they'd be returned.
His cages and trap still have disappeared.
Five confiscated cats supposedly at the East Valley Shelter and South LA were never brought to West Valley were Mason lives despite promises they will be. Who knows whether they are alive or dead?
Ron got three of his cats back, Muffin, Burt and Garfunkel.
They killed Johnny, the old skinny cat rummaging for food underneath the cops feet shown in the City TV35 raid. They said he was FIV.
Ron showed up with Valley Cats on Tuesday to point out which cats were his, and to for them to adopt out 6 of his cats. They were fought by LAAS staff for four hours trying to get them released because they were being suddenly held for spay/neutering even though it had been arranged to release them way ahead of time to Valley cats. However, all the cats had already been fixed.
Ron was told that as of Friday, all of his confiscated cats were being released for adoption to New Hope partners despite the fact he has not released them to LAAS. They also told him they were not going to tell him which New Hopes take the cats.
This allows them to kill the cats. Three months in small cages and now they can be killed because no one can follow where they are or who took them. Remember, Ed refused to turn over any impound records to Mason or to the public.
Boks transparency is a lie! They still have Boks' unbelievable defense of the ACTF raid on Mason's house posted on the LAAS wensite. They arrest him for a felony, kill more than half his animals, and yet no charges are ever filed against him. Still, Boks insists it was a good bust.
Mr. Boks, get prepared for a new request for public records on the Mason raid cats, including all impound, treatment and disposition information.
From one lawyer I talked to, apparently Animal Services, SPCAs, and County or Muni shelter can just get away with doing what they did to Ron: Invade his property, kill his cats, not give him a list of seized cats, not give him a postseizure hearing, not release confiscated records, not tell him the disposition of his cats, not return his traps and cages, just because they can. Who is going to stop them?
A lawsuit is expensive and the payoff minimal. They can arrest anyone they want for almost any reason as long as you cannot prove malice. They can take your animals and kill them, and after a long lawsuit, they might have to pay you $200 per animal.
Even though the hearing officer said the raid appeared staged for the media, even that does not cut much when it comes to a lawsuit.
Everyone of you out there is at risk of harrassment or worse at the hands of Boks' private police force---everyone of you, unless you can prove malice or a civil rights violation.
Astounding, isn't it?
It seems Boks and the Mayor's Office have decided to declare war on the Los Angeles Animal Community.
Ed Boks and Jim, you guys think you can get away with anything! You think you are above the law because you are the law. You break the rules of arrest, ignore penal code 597.1 even while you arrest people for alleged violations of this same code. Maybe you are for now. But get your records ready.
Checking Boks 2007 statistical summary, he claims a 9% reduction in killing, about 4,200.
Because Died in Shelter from fighting and disease was up 650, the real reduction in death was 3,550.
How did he do this?
Kittens and Pit Bulls disappeared!
These are the cat and dog categories where the highest euthanasia rates occur.
According to the statistics, they just stopped coming into the shelter after April at anyway near historical records or trends.
Even while the overall impound numbers dropped only 1%,
neonatal kitten impounds dropped by 33%, the most incredible drop in the history of LAAS!
Pit Bull impounds dropped 16%, the most incredible drop in the history of LAAS!
Unweaned Pit Bulls dropped 22%, the most incredible drop in the history of LAAS!
These "disappeared" animals account for 92% of the decreased euthanasia numbers claimed by Boks.
What do I mean "disappeared?"
First, 2007 was a bumper kitten season. No other shelter system in the area claimed even a 5% drop in cat impounds. They don't break it down into kitten vs. adults so the comparison is not complete. Yet, Animal Services impounded 33% fewer, 2,400!
Either they were refused or they were taken to the back room and euthanized immediately, or possibly given over to rescues or the public before being impounded.
There is NO OTHER EXPLANATION. Boks does not even try to explain it, even though this is the beginning and end of his alleged success. Could it be that it rained kittens and pits all around Southern California but not in LA city itself? I think not..
The real world just doesn't work this way.
The same holds true for pit bulls and pit bull puppies.
92% of Boks success is not explained.
He says the foster program, but that only explains 2.5% of the decrease in killing.
He says increased adoptions, but adoptions were up by only 2.4%.
New Hope? New Hope adoptions were down 3.5%.
So why were kittens and pit bulls down an unprecedented number? Fate? Kismet? Chance?
Dogs impounds actually went up 7%.
Where did the kittens and pit bulls disappear to? Where did the 3,300 animals go?
Please tell us this Mr. Boks.
An excellent article on the Internet below. Too bad no one cares except us.
The Los Angeles Department of Animal Services just released their annual report for 2007. At first glance it seems euthanasia went down. If one looks at the actual underlying numbers, things couldn't be further from the truth. Thousands of animals were merely refused at the door and thousands more died from neglect.
The Los Angeles Department of Animal Services just released their annual report for 2007. At first glance it seems euthanasia went down. If one looks at the actual underlying numbers, things couldn't be further from the truth. Thousands of animals were merely refused at the door and thousands more died from neglect.
The annual report states that cat and dog euthanasia decreased by 22% or 4,429 fewer died than in 2006. That sounds wonderful but unfortunately it's not true. There are many disingenuous ways to make euthanasia appear to go down, and "NoKill" Director Ed Boks uses all of them.
The main way the euthanasia number appeared to go down was by refusing the animals most likely to be euthanized. That would be feral cats and nursing kittens. For each feral cat or nursing kitten you refuse, the euthanasia number goes down by that exact amount.
In 2006 Ed Boks said he needed to "fine tune" the population during the "annual spring/summer crush of neonatal turn-ins." He started an official animal refusal policy. The public ranted on Craig's list about the Department refusing to take in feral cats and kittens. These animals ended up unsterilized on the streets to make even more kittens next year.
If you look at the statistics you will see that kitten refusal started in March. By September they were refusing almost 50% of the kittens. They refused 2,400 kittens or 33% normal intake. Oddly enough other local shelters had kitten intake go up. What was Boks' reply to the "odd" drop in kitten intake? It's just an "anomaly" he said even though he announced his refusal policy in a press release.
In Boks' report cat euthanasia went down 3,328. 2,400 of the 3,328 drop in cat euthanasia is attributed to refusing kittens. The rest can be attributed to the increase in animals dying on their own. An extra 470 cats died on their own from lack of care in 2007. 2,400 refused kittens plus 470 more died is 2,870. That would leave a 458 "decrease" in cat euthanasia. These animals were most likely the refused feral cats. He refused trapped cats saying they had no trapping permit and he refused to give them trapping permits.
Cat euthanasia didn't really go down in the real world. It would have actually gone up had he not refused animals and allowed more die. Cat and dog euthanasia combined went down 4,229. We have just explained the 3,328 decrease in cat euthanasia. Add to that an extra 188 dogs died in 2007.
To what do we attribute the rest of the decrease? If you add up all the possible outcomes for cats and dogs, i.e. adopted by the public, New Hope (given to rescue groups), stolen, euthanized, DOA, died, returned to owner, you will notice that the numbers don't add up. There are 1,500 more animals unaccounted for in 2007 than in 2006.
Boks added then deleted the "missing" category two months ago. These animals are either "missing" or still in the shelter system being warehoused. This means that things did not improve at all in 2007. The chart below shows what really happened.
At the end of Ed Boks' 2007 report he basically gives excuses for the increase in animals dying. He said more are dying because they're giving them better veterinary care instead of just killing them? He goes on to state that he's doing everything any NoKill director can to improve things. He says it's now up to the volunteers and public to break through the "wall."
Even more important than what Boks mentioned in his annual report are the things he intentionally omitted. He omitted "other" animals such as birds, hamsters, reptiles and "bunnies." These animals fared much worse in every category in 2007 than before Boks arrived in 2005. "Other" adoptions are down 50%, New Hope is down 50%, died is up five times as much. 1,500 more died! Euthanasia is the same while intake was down. "Bunny" adoptions are down, New Hope is half what it used to be, died is up 50% yet intake is the same. No wonder he didn't mention these other animals. If you add all animals, the number dying on their own has increased three fold. An extra 2,000 animals are now dying on their own, 3,351 animals total, even though total intake is down. Something is very wrong here.
Besides the actual numbers, 2007 was not a good year for the Department or Ed Boks. Boks gave his ex-girlfriend a consulting contract for $20,000. No one has even seen her report. Boks gave another female friend a consulting contract for $30,000. No one has seen that original report either. An employee summarized that report and reported nothing new. Since then the commission made a motion to make it mandatory for the commission to approve of any consultant paid over $5,000.
Boks became embroiled in the Pitbull Academy fiasco. The program itself to match parolees with pitbulls was fine but Boks started the program without any approvals from the LA Animal Services Commission, Personnel Department, Union, City Attorney or City Council. City Councilmembers scolded Boks for over an hour when they ordered him to stop the program.
Because of a Daily News article about the huge increase in animals dying the City's Chief Administrative Officer is now investigating the Department. On top of this Boks got in trouble for starting a Trap Neuter Return program without doing the mandatory environmental report. The City was just notified that it is about to be sued by a few environmental groups including Audubon because of his mistake.
City Controller Laura Chick is now auditing the financials of the Department because revenue is down and expenses up. Revenue is down because Boks gave away animals for free and didn't collect all dog license fees. Expenses are up because of the extreme warehousing of animals who need extra food and veterinary care. Audits show that Boks had these same financial problems when he worked in Arizona and New York.
The Animal Cruelty Task Force filmed a mistake filled raid which they aired on public television. They forgot to read the person their rights, destroyed some evidence, lost other evidence, forgot to show up for the hearing and killed most of the animals among other things. All charges were dropped and a lawsuit is now in the making. The Task Force will soon be on Animal Planet's "Animal Precinct" show. Hopefully they won't make these mistakes on the show and embarrass the City even more.
A recent report out of New York City where Boks worked last showed that he under reported euthanasia by 4,282 cats/dogs or 17% in 2005 alone. He stated his euth rate was 43% when he left in 2005 when it was actually over 60%. He stated his 2004 euth rate was 47% when it was really 66%. His true percentage decrease in euthanasia in New York was the lowest of any Director in the last six years.
More worrisome was the increase in owner requested euthanasia under Boks. Owner requested euthanasia went from 975 cats/dogs per year to 4,494 during his first year. One person at the Mayor's Alliance stated that this was caused by Boks' intake "methods." Boks preferred owner requested euthanasia so he wouldn't have to include it in his numbers. How many people unknowingly signed over their pet's life thinking that he or she might actually be adopted instead of just dragged to the back and killed? New York blamed Boks for the failures in New York. They have since revised his incorrect numbers.
Boks wrote a scathing affidavit for an activist group for a lawsuit against New York. He blabbed confidential information then blamed his failures on the City, Mayor, Commission and employees. That group lost the lawsuit. Boks is now blaming his failures here on the Mayor, Commission, employees, activists, the public and even kittens.
In response to these problems and more Boks has been blogging away telling everyone that he's doing everything any NoKill director can possibly do, even though he clearly is not. He's been blogging about himself in the third person saying that an unnamed "animal advocate" is now writing his blog.
In early 2006 Boks started a "fan" blog called LAAnimalFriends where he touted his "success" and attacked all naysayers. He's become his own "number one fan" again it seems. Boks performance since he arrived in Los Angeles is more than a mere disappointment.
It's become surreal that he can make so many mistakes, lie pathologically and still have a job. His lack of honest progress coupled with reports of alcoholism and sexually harassing female rescuers makes one wonder why Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa supports him.
Is Villaraigosa too busy campaigning for Hillary Clinton to even know what's happening back here in LA? This story brings an even bigger concern to mind. If this Director is allowed to lie in his reports to the public, what about the Police, Fire and other Departments? Are their reports also fabricated? Is crime really down or not? What's really happening in Los Angeles? I'm starting to wonder. You should too. James Kennedy JamesJohnKennedy@ yahoo.com
Suspected cases of the disease have been discovered in foxes in Arcadia, Pasadena, Glendale and Tujunga, although there have not been any reports of dogs catching distemper from infected animals.
Canine distemper is spread through the air, infected bodily fluids, food and water. Pet owners were advised to keep their dogs inside at night, and empty food and water dishes.
"The best prevention is a distemper vaccination," said Dr. Steven Feldman, chief veterinarian with Los Angeles Animal Control. "
Sometimes when I get a comment that seems especially insightful. I post it. This was sent in today below:
Chick will be auditing the financial side of the Department. She will see problems. Here are but a few:
(1) City Council approved new license canvassers. The Department started the program then ended it without City Council knowledge. Council President Eric Garcetti reprimanded Boks for ending the program without telling them. The canvassing program brings in revenue from licenses besides ensuring that animals are spayed and neutered which reduces overpopulation.
(2) In order to seem to improve statistics the Department kept animals longer, sometimes many months.In order to keep so many they overcrowded the cages. This caused the spread of disease. This did not improve their chance at adoption. This "warehousing" cost the City more money in terms of extra food, veterinary care and medicine. The Department went over their budget for food and vet care in 2006 for this reason.
(3) Director Ed Boks hired his ex-girlfriend Pia Salk to do a report on Humane LA. He gave her$20,000. No one has seen the report and there is no Humane LA program. The Commissioners were upset that he hired her without informing anyone so they made a motion that all consultants paid over$5,000 must now be approved by the commissioners.
(4) Director Ed Boks hired a friend to do a report on the volunteer department. He paid $30,000 for the report. No one has seen this report, only a summary of the report written by someone else. That summary basically told everyone what they already know about the shortcomings of the volunteer department.
(5) Employees frequently use Department supplies for their own purpose. Ex-volunteer coordinator Heidi Heubner used Department supplies, animals and volunteers to run her private Kids n Pets classes. She gave paid classes for Kids n Pets when she was supposed to be working. There are many instances of employees doing the same thing.
(6) Poor oversight of Department employees has caused a few lawsuits to be filed against the Department. One recently settled for $99,000 for sexual harassment by Commander Diliberto. Many reports of sexual harassment by Commander Diliberto were sent in before the Department was sued.Another lawsuit was recently filed by a rescuer after she was held against her will inside the shelter and had her camera physically taken away from her. Another lawsuit may soon be filed because of a false arrest by an under trained over zealous Animal Cruelty Task Force. These lawsuits could have been avoided if there was better oversight.
(7) Boks started the New Hope program which was just a new name for the old rescue partner program. He made all animals to New Hope partners free. Adoptions did not improve yet revenue was lost. He did the same thing in Arizona. After he left they went back to charging for the animals. Even though Boks knew this program failed in Arizona, he still did it in LA. He knew this incentive was failing as soon as he started it, yet he continued.
Unless I am missing something, the upcoming audit of Animal Services is relatively pointless from the perspective of activists. It appears Boks went over budget for medical services for the animals. He did the same in Phoenix. I think that is a good thing.
Rosendahl appears to be a little dense about all the animal issues. He is worried that not enough dogs get licensed. Why isn't he more worried about why so many animals are dying? I guess if it isn't his breeding dogs that are being killed, it is no skin off his nose.
The financial audit doesn't mean diddly. What has to be analyzed is why the volunteer programs are not working and the very, very funny numbers that have been coming out of the department since May. These among other things.
Rosendahl appears to be a little dense about all the animal issues. He is worried that not enough dogs get licensed. Why isn't he more worried about why so many animals are dying? I guess if it isn't his breeding dogs that are being killed, it is no skin off his nose.
When I lived in Santa Monica his local SM politics show went only skin deep. He never even began to make public what was going on under the cover of a bureacratic darkness. Then I thought he was just being politically correct in a SMRR controlled city hall, but maybe I was deceived; maybe Bill is just clueless.
Imagine, LAAS has an operating budget of $21,000,000 but with pensions and perks that is knocked up to $34,000,000--a 62% increase.
Despite the Mason case being over, with no charges ever filed by either the District Attorney or the City Attorney, Ed Boks' defense of the Mason felony animal abuse bust is still posted on the LAAS website LA Animal Services’ statement regarding a recent animal cruelty arrest. Seems kind of silly that Boks continues to defend a bust the hearing officer said appeared "staged."
This newest lawsuit alleges the same sort of things alleged against LAAS and Bernstein, and even more. Maybe all shelter directors read from the same playbook. The allegations about euthanasia practices is most disturbing. Is Winograd a guiding hand here too?
D.E.L.T.A. Rescue v. Los Angeles County
D.E.L.T.A. Rescue filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, January 14, 2008 against Los Angeles County, Supervisor Gloria Molina, Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke, Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, Supervisor Don Knabe, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Department of Animal Care and Control Director Marcia Mayeda, CEO William T. Fujioka, and Auditor-Controller J. Tyler McCauley.
The 25 page complaint alleges the following:
During the past 36 months or more, Los Angeles County, Marcia Mayeda, and the Department of Animal Care and Control failed to obtain proper licenses and had and have failed and refused to maintain records for storing and dispensing controlled substances used by the Department of Animal Care and Control to euthanize and sedate animals. As a result, the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency has initiated an investigation into Los Angeles County and the Department of Animal Care and Controls euthanasia practices and has threatened the Department of Animal Care and Control and Los Angeles County with fines in the tens of millions of dollars.
In response to the Federal Drug Enforcement Agencies investigation and in response to requests made by the plaintiff to produce records under California's Public Record's Act, Marcia Mayeda and the Department of Animal Care and Control issued orders to fabricate records and destroy email and other "paper trails" concerning the Department of Animal Care and Control and Los Angeles County's non-compliance with federal and state euthanasia record keeping requirements.
The Department of Animal Care and Control does not have and is critically lacking in equipment for rendering proper medical diagnoses for animals under their care, possession, and control.
Los Angeles County and the Department of Animal Care and Control have not maintained a lawful and adequate medical treatment program.
The Department of Animal Care and Control, under the supervision of Marcia Mayeda, has engaged and continues to engage in unlawful and inhumane euthanasia practices. The Department of Animal Care and Control has sent animals to be disposed of to D & D Disposal and Rendering while they are still alive; animals are held down and stepped on while being euthanized; animals are often euthanized out in the open and in front of other animals; and tranquilizer medications are not made available to the Department of Animal Care and Control employees to administer as needed to animals before they are euthanized.
Animals with medical conditions that are easily detected with the correct type of medical equipment are being released to the public and rescue organizations undiagnosed.
The Department of Animal Care and Control routinely refuses to provide prompt and necessary veterinary care to animals as are in need of such care, refuses to undertake any reasonable efforts to make treatable animals adoptable, and refuses to allow the public or rescue organizations the opportunity to provide prompt and necessary veterinary care to such animals in need of such care.
The city of Beverly Hills, one of the cities that contracts to the Department of Animal Care and Control, has initiated an investigation thorough its code enforcement offices and conducted a surprise inspection of the Carson Animal Shelter.
A video exists which shows a shelter employee at the Baldwin Park Animal Shelter dragging a Rottweiler with a broken back across the grounds through puddles banding its head on the ground. The employee has not been terminated and/or disciplined.
An employee at the Carson Animal Shelter injected animals with cleaning solution and water in order to euthanize them. The employee ("whistleblower") who reported this was terminated and Marcia Mayeda authorized the termination.
Animals are wrongfully euthanized because the Department of Animal Care and Control employees fail to check records to indicate the correct animals are being euthanized. In addition, animals are wrongfully euthanized because employees do not scan for microchips before euthanasia.
D.E.L.T.A. Rescue has complained to the Board of Supervisors for years. Their concerns have been validated and conditions have worsened. Los Angeles County, the Board of Supervisors, William T. Fujioka, and J. Tyler McCauley are not responding adequately and/or responsibly.
During the past 36 months, D.E.L.T.A. Rescue publicized the inhumane conditions at the Los Angeles County shelters and Los Angeles County's practice of supplying euthanized animals for the purpose of rendering them into animal feed and other commercial product. The Defendants, in turn, have targeted and retaliated against D.E.L.T.A. Rescue and its President, Leo Grillo.
Marcia Mayeda and the Department of Animal Care and Control have failed to conform with state and federal law while charging for services to the cities they contract with that are not actually provided. The Department of Animal Care and Control and Los Angeles County routinely overcharge and/or undercharge their contract cities.
Marcia Mayeda, the Department of Animal Care and Control, and its managers and other employees routinely destroy and/or fabricate records for the purpose of obstructing justice, depriving persons of their property, and/or for obtaining and spending public funds under false pretenses.
The amount of money represented by Marcia Mayeda and the Department of Animal Care and Control to the County, State, and contract cities that have been spent on the care and treatment of animals in the County's shelter on an annual basis is far in excess of the money actually spent on the animals and may have been overstated by millions of dollars. Los Angeles County, Marcia Mayeda, and the Department of Animal Care and Control routinely seek to redeem expenses from citizens of Los Angeles Counties whose animals have been impounded by the County and the Department which have not actually been incurred by the Department.
The Mason case is over. He has been exonerated of all charges: felony animal neglect, misdemeanor animal neglect, and even violation of MC 53.50.
We also need people to foster the animals above 3 Animal Services will allow him to keep.
Some comments are just so beautiful I feel obligated to post them separately. This one is in response to an Ed Boks' surrogate's comment:
Ed M. is right (and Ed B. or Ed B.-surrogates, AGAIN - stop trying to muddy the waters).
If Boks had nothing to hide he would produce the documents that have been legally requested.
And if the Mason bust had been legitimate then Ron Mason wouldn't have spent November 6th sitting by himself all day in San Fernando Courthouse, waiting for a City Attorney who never showed up for his hearing. If Ron were a felonious animal abuser Cocek wouldn't decline to prosecute.
The thing you people who visit this blog to discredit Ed M. forget is that YOU ARE SCREWUPS. Even with a guy like Ron, who basically offered himself up to you by being so open in his dealings with LAAS - you can't do one thing right.
You invite a City Inspector who isn't in charge of Ron's area. You hang cats in mid-air and let a news photographer take a picture of it. In the space of one 22-minute video you say Ron has good intentions, but you're charging him with a felony, oh -- and that you've been dealing with him for years -- so apparently it wasn't THAT BAD of a felony until now.
You call him crazy and then think you can obtain legal consent to question him on-camera, in handcuffs, no less.
You freaking go after a guy, steal his records, AND THEN HIRE HIS STRANGELY NO-LONGER-COOPERATIVE VETERINARIAN AT LAAS!
Although you are criminals you are no good at crime.
Although you are liars, you are no good at trying to sow doubt on this blog.
You are sad, incompetent power freaks who choose defenseless animals and almost equally defenseless humans as your vehicle to fame. You are idiots and even if Antonio Villaraigosa is so stupid and shortsighted as to not see what you are - WE DO.
So go follow your own slime trail home. You can't wreak your damage here.
Everyone should ignore Boks' year end spin reports and take a look at the actual statistics posted on the website--that is, if these are actual, that is, true statistics.
There has been a substantial increase in the live-save rate, from about 53% to 60% by one way of measuring.
Live cats and dogs in, 44,662, and live out, 26,603, equals 59.6%. This does not include fosters because this is a temporary category, not a final disposition.
This about as good as we expect the Philly year end numbers to be. Of course, LAAS has 6 times Philly's resources and we should expect more. But it is a significant improvement over Boks' first year where there was no improvement.
There have been allegations--and I have also made them--that a large number of neonatal kittens were turned away. Witness Animal Services refusal to impound Mason's kittens before the raid. If as many as 1,800 neonatals were turned away, instead of admitted and killed, the live save rate would have been more like 56%.
The rate of improvement in Animal Services live save statistics for cats and dogs, is about 13% compared to Philly's 28%. That is, Philly is increasing the live save rate more than twice as fats as LA with 1/6th the resources..
I doubt Boks will be here another whole year, but it will be interesting to see whether the Philly and LAAS improvement trends remain the same or hold at the same level.
This is just a first glance analysis and I have not looked at the "other" animals or rabbit categories yet, which appear to be a disaster.
I just received a response to my request for public records regarding correspondence between Animal Services and the producers of Animal Precinct from Linda Barth.
"Your request of January 7, 2008, regarding information related to correspondence between the Department's General Manager and producers of the Animal Planet television series has been received by the custodian of records. The Department believes that additional time, in excess of the 10 days called for under the Public Records Act, will be necessary to research, collect and review all of the records requested.
"The Department is therefore advising you that an additional 14 days to respond to your request is necessary."
Assistant General Manager
I guess Linda and Ed can’t find their emails with the Animal Planet's producers. Perhaps I can help.
Animal Planet has agreed to pay Granada Media from England for six shows that will follow the Animal Cruelty Task Force. The producer is Marie Thomas and her email address is email@example.com.
Sent to me:
"It's not enough to tell only Thomas about what the task force did to Ron Mason and how all his cats were killed for nothing. She will try to cover everything up because she has already sold six shows to the Animal Planet and she does not want the Discovery Channel to know the Task force and Boks are frauds. You have to tell Ron Mason’s story to the people at Discovery."
I guess the concept of offering help without arrest and conviction isn't sexy enough for a TV series.
I talked to Animal Planet President Marjorie Kaplan, who seemed genuinely stunned when I told her about the Mason bust. Of course, after the stun wore off, she couldn't wait to get rid of me.
Discovery Communications is the parent for Animal Planet and its shows, such as Animal Precinct. It is huge; it is the largest non-fiction communications-entertainment company in the world. Discovery has operations on four continents, each with its own headquarters.
Marie Thomas is most closely associated with the European headquarters at Discovery House, London - Tel: 44-208-811-3000
address and phone number is for all executives is for Discovery World Headquarters:
One Discovery Place, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 240-662-2000.
The key people other than Thomas to contact and voice your opinion about LAAS and Boks are:
Marjorie Kaplan, President and GM of Animal Planet.
Be VERY nice to her. She is in charge of all contracts between Animal Planet and producers, such as Marie Thomas. She is THE key person and sounds sympathetic. Tell her that Boks hides lack of substance with spin and show, including her show.
The Discovery executives below are all located at the world headquarters in Maryland at 240.662.2000.
John Hendricks, Founder and Chairman of Discovery: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Zaslav, President and CEO: email@example.com
Clark Bunting, President of Discovery Studios. He is the immediate overseer of Animal Planet network. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hopefully there will not be many more posts about the Mason case after a week or two. Maybe there will be an amicable settlement. Maybe in the future LAAS will provide actual help for people with too many animals and arrest those who genuinely abuse animals.
Imagine all the man/woman hours and days wasted to destroy Mason. Thirty plus people for a half to a full day, well over 200 hours. Did Al Capone have half this many people present when he was arrested?
If Boks/Boswell had used just 1/10th of that manpower over the months prior to the Mason raid helping him out as he requested, the problem would have been fixed.
Again, what I write below is hearsay although much of the court case involving BHLE was in transcript online. It sounds plausible given evidence in the transcript plus knowing Cocek's ties to SPCALA, including co-teaching classes on seizure procedures, and now Delgadillo's trying to shut down a Bernstein competitor. The below is how Cocek allegedly drove BHLE out of business. Posts from a few months ago give all the press citations about this story so I won't repeat them.
When the BHLE officers went to swear in before a judge, the judge said "okay, you're sworn in and legal." BHLE said "No,we are supposed to say an oath with our hand on a bible." The judge said "you don't have to do that. No one's done that in years." So, BHLE then thought they were legal. They had a judge's order that said they were legal.
They got a search warrant to go after Angel Puss and a quail farm. They went in, took the animals...then released a press release about the bust. It was ALL OVER the news, tv, papers...
SPCALA got jealous. Some articles said "Angel puss had been reported to the authorities for over 15 years but no one did anything." SPCALA looked bad so madeline told Cocek to shut them down.
He went through their paperwork with a fine tooth comb and saw the error. He went to court to invalidate their search warrant. He basically helped out the worst hoarder in the world. They were neutering cats in a store front, no vet, no meds.
Anyway, they went back to the judge that made them legal. He apologized and said it was a technical error. They asked to say the oath but weren't allowed.
Then the LAPD went and raided the homes of all BHLE people. The cops showed up at 5 a.m. handcuffed everyone, tossed their homes, asked them questions like "admit you are ALF!" and "Where are your drugs and weapons," and "How many cats do you have?"
They kept telling the police "we do vegan outreach, we're not ALF."
Know what? spcala officers didn't swear in with an oral oath either. Itcould invalidate all their cases...but that would be stupid.
A couple of years ago, Don Cocek who prosecutes animal cases for for the City Attorney, moved that the court remove the permit to perform humane services such as Bernstein's SPCA. One such organization was BHLE. I don't know the outcome. Cocek was on the Board of Director's of Berstein's SPCALA at the time. He not only prosecuted cases for Bernstein, but also brokered deals where her SPCA would be paid restitution fees by the convicted hoarder or whomever.
Now it appears that the City Attorney himself, Rocky Delgadillo is using his office to shut down another of Bernstein's competitors. Bernstein is well-connected with the powers that be in the City as well as with a lot of celebrities.
Delgadillo is stating the organization, Animal Cruelty Investigations, is headed by a "militant" animal activist, and there are already enough humane society organizations in the City. Notice Boks' ACTF is mentioned with regard to getting the organziation's court endorsement removed.
What is the connection between Bernstein and the CA? Anyone know more details?
A press release by the City Attorney a few days ago. Notice the operation they were trying to shut down was run by an alleged "militant animal rights" activist.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Frank Mateljan
MONDAY, JANUARY 7, 2008 (213) 978-8340 (O)
L.A. CITY ATTORNEY ROCKY DELGADILLO
SEEKS REVOCATION OF ANIMAL RIGHTS
GROUP’S STATUS AS HUMANE SOCIETY
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo today announced
his office has filed a motion asking the Los Angeles Superior Court to revoke the
endorsement of Animal Cruelty Investigations (ACI) as a humane society
organization based on new evidence of prior militant animal rights behavior by a
high ranking organization member and the lack of necessity for an additional
humane society of this type in Los Angeles County.
In February 2007, ACI submitted a Petition for Incorporation along with 20
signatures from organization members seeking endorsement from the Los
Angeles Superior Court as a humane society without notice to the City Attorney’s
Office. On April 10, the Court issued its order endorsing ACI’s articles of
Incorporation. Under the Corporations Code, ACI is now eligible to request
confirmation of the appointment of humane officers who would have authority
similar to that of police officers, such as authority to carry firearms, serve
warrants and make arrests.
As part of its opposition, the City Attorney’s office noted that ACI’s chief
executive officer Frank Allen was previously convicted of, and served a one year
jail sentence for, felony attempted arson arising from a 1997 incident involving
illegal animal-rights related activities. Allen was arrested by Orange County
Sheriff’s Deputies after attempting to ignite bales of hay next to a Mission Viejo
High School agriculture classroom. He failed to disclose this conviction in his
declaration in support of ACI’s petition.
In July and September 2007, Allen on behalf of ACI, reported alleged violations
at a quail farm in Sun Valley. After a thorough investigation by the Animal Cruelty
Task Force and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, investigators
concluded the reports were unfounded and no violations of animal-welfare laws
were being violated.
The City Attorney’s office is requesting the court either void its Order endorsing
ACI’s Articles of Incorporation or conduct an evidentiary hearing to allow
development of a complete and accurate factual record on which to evaluate the
merits of issuing the order.
A hearing for the motion has been scheduled for February 4 in Division 100 of Los Angeles Superior Court.
I had been preparing a letter of complaint against Ed Boks and the ACTF to send to Jerry Brown, Attorney General, regarding failure to respond to Requests for Public Records, especially in the Mason case. ADL then sent me an email about Animal Precinct and their involvement with SPCAs in busts on "hoarders" and extorting large penalties from the "hoarders" and requiring three years of psychological treatment, just as Boks talked about in the Mason case.
A brief google search revealed a remarkable website pointing this out with respect to Bernstein's SPCA-LA, Marcia Mayeda and Ed Boks and involving the LA City Attorney's Office.
Once I put this together, and there is a lot of new info about Rocky Degadillo's attempt to get rid of an SPCALA rival humane organization, I will really have something to tell Jerry about.
GFN has obtained photos of the SPCA-LA kennels that depicts abuse and neglect of dogs. SPCA-LA begs and receives of $6,000,000 a year from the community. Yet D & D Disposal does massive pickups of euthanized animals. They have a very high poundage rate. They are NOT NO KILL.
They are attacking all no kill shelters and closing them down with the assistance of one of their board of director members from the city attorney’s office.[My note; this would be Don Cocek. He was on the SPCA-LA board, but is no longer.] GFN has received video tape of the gigantic WALK IN FREEZER (Like PETA’S 10’ x 14’ freezer) depicting SPCA-LA’s Tori Mathews proudly throwing the bodies of dead dogs and cats on a cart and dragging them into the walk in freezer.
Betty White, Rue McClanahan, Pamela Anderson, Tommy Lee, Drew Barrymore, and many other stars in Los Angeles give and help raise millions of dollars for the SPCA-LA and PETA. The SPCA-LA murders thousands of animals.
Senior Citizens and The Los Angeles County Animal Control Officers
Animal Rights, SPCA/Humane Societies, PETA, HSUS all target Senior Citizens who own property and those who maintain large numbers of animals like pet stores, rescues, farmers and ranchers. It guarantees that the city/county/courts/ humane society/SPCA’s will be able to lien property to collect their judgment awards from the courts for ‘restitution’. Why do they want to seize large numbers of animals that they immediately have to kill?
[My note: Yes Mr. Boks; why do you "rescue" seize 59 animals and immediately kill them instead of treating them? You stated kittens with Rinotracheitis "often succumb even with treatment, but you killed them without even attempting to treat them, or I assume, find fosters to treat them.]
Most states now have a mandate fund that will pay them up to $1 million dollars for getting the victim on 3 years probation and under psychiatric counseling. Most of the animals are held for years so that all the cities and counties can also get larger shelters built from the monies from the Mandate Fund from the state and federal grants. This scam gives money to the seizing agency, the courts, the district attorneys and the city attorneys for driving up the percentage of prosecuted criminals in their area.
The judges know that Animal Control, SPCA/Humane Societies are reimbursed at the rate of $8.50 a day per animal from the State Mandate Fund. Why are they awarding outrageous amounts of money to these agencies? GFN was given 1800 pages obtained with the Public Records Act, of applications and payments to L A County Animal Control at $8.50 per day per animal.
In the 73 year olds case, 69 of those animals were euthanized the 3rd day, yet Sheri Koenig and Marcia Mayeda committed perjury upon the court during the restitution portion of the trial and demanded the judge award $800,000. from the victim.
It does not cost $8.50 per day to fed and care for a 2 pound dog, especially since they billed for 236 animals for two plus years when the animals were already dead and/or sold or given to rescues to take care of. Remember 69 were killed the third day. Many more dropped like flies from pneumonia because they were left in an open sided building. Like Zephyr?
Political Stepping Stones
What Has Happened To A Jury Of Our Peers?
Are these jurors hand picked before they are walked into the box so that no matter whom is eliminated the defense is still left with a jaded jury? Or, is it because the victim has been tried in the press for months or years prior the trial that they cannot receive a fair and impartial trial and end up with a tainted jury.
[Is this not what happened to Mason? City TV, the LAAS website and the Daily News all reported the same story about Mason. Mason is almost a senior who doe sown his home. He can and probably will be forced to pay "restitution" for his animals if he wants them back.]
District Attorneys and City Attorneys are NOT supposed to speak to the yellow press regarding the cases they are trying. Yet, that’s the first place they call because they know the case is bogus. They are in need of a political stepping stone to further their careers, plus the press generates dollars for that agency if the case is decided before it goes to trial.
The victims are usually forced through extortion to plead out, because they know a just, fair and reasonable trial is not forth coming. The DAs and CAs are involved because it’s news worthy and will further their careers. Their payoff in all of this is increased funding from state and federal grants for their city or county. They also gain favor with their superiors.
Why Do the Victim’s Attorneys Allow This Unlawful Behavior By the DAs And Courts?
A prominent West Los Angeles Attorney told GFN that he has to roll over on the Animal Cases because the Judges would never ALLOW him to win another case for his other clients in his 'Gentleman's Club' cases. He states these are his bread and butter. Are the judges so corrupt and powerful that they can throw the case, punish the attorney, and destroy that attorney’s career?
[Again, Mason can't get an attorney; no one will take the case without at least $20,000 up front.]
GFN interviewed six more prominent attorneys who confirmed this practice.
Marcia Mayeda Director of Los Angeles County Animal Control, was hired out of the Silicon Valley Humane Society (formerly Santa Clara Valley Humane). She pulls the same illegal stunts that she always pulled as a private 501(c)3. When they assault and batter the victims, the Sheriff's Office refuses to take a complaint. They instead file A & B against the senior women they beat and prosecute them with their lies and perjury. The prosecuting DA's lie and suborn perjury. The Los Angeles County DA's office needs to be investigated and indicted by a Federal Grand Jury.
Mr. Boks has been refusing or ignoring multiple Requests for Public Records, which apparently will not be seen as a concern by the City Attorney's Office or the Mayor. Perhaps some member of City Council will take interest before I send a complaint to the California Attorney General.
The below request involves Ed Boks negotiations to have Animal Precinct film local LAAS coverage for airing on that show. I am concerned that the ACTF's recent raids on homes and businesses may be entirely done for that show, and that all sorts of civil rights violations as well as failure to follow legal procedure for making arrests or seizing property were done only for that show and perhaps not even with the intent of conviction due to the very sloppy nature of the arrests.
More likely, LAAS and the ACTF were just demonstrating incompetence.
My Request for Public Documents sent today to Ed Boks:
January 7, 2008
Ed Boks, General ManagerLos Angeles Animal Services
221 N. Figueroa Street, 5th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dear Mr. Boks,This request is being made subject to the California Public Records Act: Government Code §6250-6268.Under this statute you have 10 calendar days from the date of receipt of this request to respond as to whether you will release the records requested as detailed below. It is preferred your response be made in writing to either the street address or the email address below.
In your General Manager’s September/October Report to the Animal Services Commission, you stated, “The Department has recently had conversations with the producers of the Animal Planet show “Animal Precinct” about putting together a five-show pilot that would feature the Department’s animal care centers and staff.”
As I believe there may be a relationship between the negotiations you conducted with producers of Animal Planet and Animal Precinct, and recent raids conducted by LA Animal Services, the Animal Cruelty Task Force, the LAPD and City TV, on residences and businesses during October and November of 2007, I request:
Any and all correspondence including memos and emails between Ed Boks and: The producers of Animal Planet; the producers of Animal Precinct; any staff of City TV 35; any members of the ACTF, Jim Bickhart and Jim Blackman regarding the above stated intent of having Animal Services and the ACTF being featured or viewed on any Animal Planet network show, but especially as noted in the Commission notes, LAAS being featured on one or more Animal Precinct shows. Such emails should contain the type of activities or events that Animal Precinct would be filming, e.g., dogfighting rings, animal hoarders, per store anaimal neglect or abuses.
I am especially interested in, but not limited to, correspondence or memos or email between Mr. Boks and any staff member of City TV 35 regarding taping of the raid on the home of Ron Mason on October 11, 2007. The raid has already aired and thus in the public domain. A separate request to City TV will be made to view the entire footage shot on October 11.
Form of Information RequestedThe information requested may be electronically imaged and transferred to the email address email@example.com.Denial and RedactionShould you choose to deny this request, as required by law, please indicate the exact reason for denial and the person and title of the person who made such decision. Should information be redacted from the files, statute requires that you list for EACH record the reason for redaction and type of information redacted.FeesI am willing to pay reasonable copying fees, as defined under law, not to exceed $25.00. Should fees run higher, please contact me. Should you have any questions regarding this request, please contact me immediately.
DA Steve Cooley
CA Rocket Delgadillo
Deputy CA, Don Cocek
On October 11, 2007, LA Animal Services, the Animal Cruelty Task Force, the LAPD, City TV, County Health and a reporter from the Daily News wrongfully raided the home of Ron Mason in Northridge. They seized 52 cats and killed 25 within a day—without an order from a judge. Two days earlier, another six kittens were seized and killed, again without a judge’s order. Therefore, 31 evidence animals were seized and immediately killed. Also about 15 cages and traps were seized and have never been returned.
Mr. Mason was arrested on charges of felony animal neglect, CPC 597(b) handcuffed and taken to jail. At no point was he Mirandized and advised of his rights. He was released on a $20,000 bond posted by a relative. Mr. Mason is a semi-employed day worker with no other income at the time. (He is now receiving food stamps.)
Felony or misdemeanor animal neglect CPC 597(b) is defined as having failed to provide food, water and shelter to an animal. Also failing to provide adequate medical care can also be construed as animal neglect. (Please see Attachment A for relevant sections of CPC 597 and 597.1.) No list of seized animals with description or whereabouts of the 52 animals impounded on October 11 was ever given to Mr. Mason at the time of the seizure as required by CPC 597.1 for any animal seized under a suspected violation of any section of CPC 597.
A Request for Public records for that list required to be given Mr. Mason by Animal Services has never been answered or responded to by Ed Boks, General Manager of LA Animal Services.Mr. Mason was not advised that he could request a Postseizure Hearing requiring Animal Services to provide reason for impounding the animals and allowing Mr. Mason knowledge of their whereabouts and the protocol for getting his animals returned.A Request for Public documents for this form has also gone unanswered.
In addition to the animals seized, Mr. Mason’s entire extensive veterinarian records were seized which proved thousands of dollars had been spent to spay/neuter the animals as well as pay for their medical treatment. He was never given a list of the medical records seized. Also seized were various Orders to Comply issued by Animal Services to Ron Mason, as well as documents from his veterinarian, Cynthia Hockman, DVM, that conditions of those Orders had been met.
Ed Boks released a press release stating that Mr. Mason was a hoarder and had mental problems. He said that conviction on felony animal abuse charges would provide him with the support and counseling he needs to make sure the excess of animals would not take place again.
He stated the cats and kittens killed were irremediably suffering and therefore killed. He gave a statement from a department veterinarian that they were suffering from Rhinotracheitis—a common cold--and therefore were killed. Subsequently, information about the raid was expanded and is published by Ed Boks on the Animal Services website (http://laanimalservices.org/PDF/info/rumor/ACTF%20Response%20A_1.pdf). It is also included as an appendix attachment below.
Requests for those department veterinary records that would show the animals really were irredeemably suffering were also denied. There was no judges order to permit the killing of these evidence animals, nor evidence of treatment, even though Boks on the department Internet site stated that they were treatable. He did not state why the department did not treat them. This would be a double violation of the Hayden Act, killing a cat before four days were up, and failing to treat impounded cats (for Rhinotracheitis as he alleged they had).
The Daily News reporter, Dana Bartholomew repeated all the charges made by Boks as to Mason’s mental health and the horrendous conditions at his home. Photographs of the raid were displayed on the Internet, and subsequently, footage of the raid filmed by City TV was also aired and the same allegations repeated.
Despite repeated requests for knowledge of the whereabouts of his animals, Ed Boks has refused to release that information because they were evidence animals and he “was unable” to give that information.
A request for Public Records of all software information including impound numbers and status as well as medical treatment and disposition of those animals was also denied on the same grounds despite CPC 597.1 clearly stating that Mason be provided that information as well as the means to get the animals back.
I made a separate request for public records to Ed Boks requesting copies of the list of seized animals that was required to be given to Mason, as well as any notice he had been given a Declaration form so that he could request a Postseizure hearing. There has no response after almost three weeks.
After my requests were denied, I post on my blog www.laanimalwatch.blogspot.com, a list of seized property sent to Mason six days after the raid on October 17, by the LAPD, not Animal Services, which listed only 11 items, but did not include: 1) any list of even one of the 52 animals seized or their location; 2) any list of medical records for the animals, including spay/neuter; 3) any list of cages and traps seized; lists of Orders to Comply and his veterinarian’s notes to Animal Services that Mr. Mason did comply.
A County Health inspector, Manuel Garcia, who inspected Mason’s property ten days or so after the raid stated there was nothing wrong with the health conditions of the property, as he said, “I have seen 1,000 times worse.”
Two days before the Mason raid, Ed Boks announced that the TV show, Animal Precinct was going to televise five shows featuring Animal Services and following the Animal Cruelty Task Force in its various activities, including busting hoarders, which Boks accused Mason of being. It appears the October 11 raid was done either as an audition tape for the show, or the City TV footage will be included in an Animal Precinct show. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_kJ9nGiVis for the City TV footage aired.
That taped show was shown on City TV on approximately December 12, 2008. On that show, Lt. Troy Boswell, I believe head of the ACTF, is interviewed on camera stating neighborhood cats were showing up on Mr. Mason’s property because there, they were provided everything they needed, food, water and shelter. That is, the animals were not neglected as described under CPC 597 according to the head of the AC Task Force.
Very surprising and disturbing, was that Cynthia Hockman, DVM, who had been Mason’s vet for several years treating and spay/neutering his animals, as well as supplying evidence to Animal Services that Mason was complying with their Orders to Comply, refused to give Mr. Mason medical records more than three years old when he was trying to recreate the vet records seized by the ACTF. She told Mr. Mason, “I wish I had never met you. I might lose my job. I am not required by law to keep any records for more than three years.” She refused to give Mr. Mason those records.Three weeks later, approximately November 1, Cynthia Hochman left her private practice to become a veterinarian at Los Angeles Animal Services. Apparently this was the job she feared losing, and this is why she refused to give Mr. Mason the older veterinarian records.
These records show that not only was Mason providing adequate food, shelter and water for the animals, but he was getting them neutered and providing extensive medical treatment over the years. Therefore, again, there was no animal neglect.
I would also note that Mr. Mason stated he felt overwhelmed by the number of cats showing up on his property and asked Animal Services many times to help him capture the cats and take them to the West valley shelter to be cared for and adopted.
His every request was refused. Mr. Mason stated that he was not only asking for help, but “I was Begging them for help.” Instead, Animal Services refused and gave him bottle feeding kits to nurse the kittens and told to bring them to the shelter when they were eight weeks old.
Remember, this is a man who is a part-time dayworker receiving food stamps, and getting the cats spay/neutered through the free certificates supplied by the Amanda Foundation. There is no way he could care for the cats in the way he wanted and he asked Animal Services for help.They raided him a few weeks later for a TV show.
Fortunately, the District Attorney has refused to press felony animal neglect charges against Mr. Mason as apparently the City Attorney’s Office is not pressing charges of misdemeanor animal neglect. They are aware that the evidence to charge Mason with animal neglect is not there.
However, the animals are either all dead now have been held hostage for three months in very small and cramped cages apparently waiting for the statute of limitation to run out before Mason is exonerated of misdemeanor animal neglect and hopefully everyone will have forgotten about Mason and his missing cats.
It is quite obvious that Mr. Mason was raided for taping an audition tape or actual footage for the Animal precinct TV show. This is why well over 30 people from various City departments, police, the ACTF, City TV and the press all made it to Mason’s property at 6:30 A.M. on October 11—for a TV show.
Imagine, over 30 people showing up for a raid on his property to take cats he has been begging them to take for months, then charging him with felony animal neglect. Then they impound the animals to “rescue” them from alleged neglect and kill at least 31, and will not show reason why they were killed.
Mr. Boks in his press release stated the main reason why Mr. Mason’s property was raided was the health conditions of the cats. He stated the cats seized on October 9 tested as having Panleukemia—a virulent viral infection, and often fatal, and as one officer in the taped and aired briefing, stated could kill all cats within blocks.
However, lab samples were sent to a professional lab, Antech, proved negative for this disease. These results were returned to Dr. Rao, the department veterinarian, one day before the raid on October 10, not October 12, the day after the raid as Ed Boks claims.
Requests for Public Records for these test results have also been refused despite Ed Boks stating the results on the LAAS website and that they had been received a day after the raid. We have strong reasons to believe that these test results would help clear Mr. Mason of charges on animal neglect.Officer Linda Ortega, shown at the police station briefing room on the morning of the raid, informed officers present that the cats had panleukemia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_kJ9nGiVis. However, the LAAS vet who was at Mason’s property that morning of the raid, Dr. Rao, told members of the ACTF and LAPD that the cats that were moments later seized and killed, in fact were free of the disease that prompted the animals seizure and issuing the warrant for felony animal neglect in the first place.
That is, Animal Services and the ACTF had no probable cause for the seizure but decided to go ahead with the raid because of the massive amount of personnel present.
(Sarcasm) Why call off the raid just because there was no evidence of the presence of panleukemia? How can Ortega, Boswell or other city officials call off the raid after they arranged to have a half dozen City and County departments present, and therefore, look stupid?
This is a civil rights abuse horror story. It is also a sign of an almost depraved immorality that a department General Manager, Ed Boks, and the LAPD Animal Cruelty Task Force, would stage a bogus raid on a man whose animal problems they refused to help him with, and who was not Mirandized, was not given a list of seized animals, or cages, was not informed of his right to request a Postseizure Hearing, whose own veterinarian refused to give Mason copies of his own veterinarian records, and this veterinarian had already been hired by Animal Services, all so that Animal Services and the ACTF can be on a network TV show.
Mr. Mason was raided because he had been working with Animal Services for two years, complying with their orders, providing food, water, shelter and medical treatment. They knew about the problem and had visited his property over the previous three years. Then, for nine weeks prior to the raid he had been actively soliciting Animal Services help and they refused.
He was set up for the bust.They knew he had no money to defend himself with. He was an easy target and it would look good for Animal Precinct to make a felony bust with handcuffs, rather than for a permit violation of having too many cats, Municipal Code 53.51. Mr. Mason is having a hearing for this permit violation on January 16, yet the Misdemeanor charges still have nine months to run during which the LAPD and Animal Services can hide Mr. Mason’s animals and veterinary records from him and the public, waiting for me, and the court of public opinion, to go away.
In the meantime, the animals, if any survive, are being held in small cages in a strange and frightening environment, all for Ed Boks’ and the ACTF’s publicity.
I am asking for: a review of all aspects of this case, especially of civil rights violations and legal and ethical abuses against Mr. Mason; copies of the contract and emails between Ed Boks and Animal Precinct; a release of Mr. Mason’s animals to him so that he, and members of the LA rescue community can adopt these animals out; an investigation of the policies and procedures of the Animal Cruelty task Force including whether there was sufficient evidence as claimed by Ed Boks of animal neglect prior to the raid as, and whether the Antech the lab results were available on the morning of the raid rather than the day after the raid as Ed Boks claimed; an audit of Animal Services and the ACTF, including civil rights violations as well as over 1,155 Hayden Act violation.
Mostly we want an assurance that Boks and the ACTF are not running a private police force whose main purpose is to intimidate legitimate rescuers with a threat of being raided, all animals being impounded and most killed.