There is a lot to be said for those who oppose TNR on moral grounds, i.e., feral cats live a short and sometimes brutal life and they deserve better. I think this is a universal wish by rescuers, and those of the general public that actually think about it--which are many.
We all wish they all had homes, but sometimes just the massiveness of the problem and the suffering makes all of us wonder whether we are not just chipping away at a granite mountain with a toothpick.
On the other hand, many who oppose TNR are those who just don't like cats or bird-types, or nature freak environmentalists that think native species are more important than cats, donkeys, wild horses, etc..
Lots of "experts" from CA Fish and Game provide lots of irrelevant data that supports their opinion that unhoused cats should be captured and killed.
They content TNR does not work because people dump their animals at colony locations.
They ignore the fact dumping will always take place whether there are colonies or not, and cats will always be getting lost. It is estimated that 5% of the housed cats become strays each year. TNR has to cope with that steady influx of animals as well as the non-sterilized cats already in the colonies.
Personally, I think the only real solution is to prohibit cat ownership. Those who already have homes can stay with their owners for life. Most people do not deserve to have cats, dogs, rabbits or turtles. They don't deserve to have children either.
TNR could continue on the unhoused cats, and the numbers of incoming cats would decrease each year, meaning TNR would become very effective.
I might say the same about dogs, rabbits, birds, turtles, etc.
Only special people should be allowed to have animals, but there is no way you can legislate certain people to have them and others not.
Why should so many animals suffer when only a smaller percentage of people (maybe 25%) can really afford to take care of their animals, and also have the heart to take care of and share a life with them.
County says Rancho Los Amigos cats
October 24, 2008
The colony of cats -- some feral, some friendly strays -- wandering the grounds near the old buildings on the campus of the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center have stoked controversy for months. The cats have devoted caretakers -- they provide the food the felines above were snacking on in March -- and they have detractors, who said the cats were using the sand box of a nearby child-care center as a litter box and posing other health problems.
Los Angeles County, which owns the property, plans to raze the old buildings to make way for a high-tech data center. Early this year, county officials agreed to let a Downey nonprofit, Fail-Safe 4 Felines, embark on an ambitious project to trap and neuter the 150 or so cats and relocate them.
But, now, the county has decided the cats must go as soon as possible. For one thing, the trapping, neutering, and releasing approach didn't appear to be succeeding. The feline population count has gone up to 200, according to county officials. And in August, said county public health spokeswoman Sarah Kissell, "we found evidence of five new litters." Additionally, public health inspectors found fleas, flies and feces -- all associated with the cats -- near several buildings, including a children's day care center.
In a letter to the county, a public health official said feral cats had been associated with organisms that cause human diseases such as rabies and typhus.
"It's rare, but it has occurred," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health. Fielding said the decision to tell the county to remove the cats immediately was seriously considered.
"We're all animal lovers," he said. "These aren't steps that are taken lightly."
"This is kids over cats, plain and simple," said Supervisor Don Knabe -- whose district includes the Rancho Los Amigos property -- in a statement. He has urged members of the public who want to help the cats to e-mail Animal Care and Control at firstname.lastname@example.org.
L.A. County's Department of Animal Care and Control will trap the cats and move them to its animal shelter in Downey. The shelter will assess the cats to see which can be adopted out. Feral cats -- which are extraordinarily difficult to incorporate into homes -- sometimes can be placed in barns and equestrian centers that have rat problems. (Ferals are great at making rats vanish from the premises.)
"We notified several of the feline groups about what we were doing and asked them to help us rather than fight us on this," said David Sommers, a spokesman for Knabe's office.
County Animal Care and Control officials said, in an Oct. 22 letter to the director of Fail-Safe 4 Felines, that the group had failed to meet its commitment to find homes for the cats. One of the affectionate ones is pictured right.
The group's director and founder, Sheranne Jaeger, told the Downey Patriot that her group had found homes for 30 of the cats. But the arrival of kitten season along with the irresponsible dumping of house cats kept the numbers from shrinking permanently, she contends. Jaeger told the Patriot, "if we hadn't been there, there would be thousands of cats. It takes everybody to solve this and euthanasia isn't the answer."
-- Carla Hall
I was in two similar situations in Santa Monica ten years ago.
Several colonies, contained 25-30 cats located along a 1/2 miles stretch of Palisades Park, and maintained by maybe six caretakers, were "inconvenienced" by the park being closed down, barrier twisted wire fences put up which blocked the caretakers from managing the colony, alone with no trespassing signs. Police cars went by every hour or so to make sure no one was in the park feeding the cats because the City wanted to get rid of them while they built their finest and greatest tourist amenity--a pristine park free of cats and wildlife.
They even used a defoliant to get rid of all the grasses and bushes that protected the cats.
I said "inconvenienced" because we decided to disobey the City. We cut holes in the fences, kept a keen eye for the cops, and continued feeding and caring. We moved the doghouse shelter a little further down the cliff slope where the defoliant had not reached.
This went on for a year or so.
One of the caretakers was arrested for trespassing, but when she went to court and the judge heard she had been trespassing to care take 7 cats, the judge commended her for her actions and angrily denounced the City for its actions. The cats were not in a location where they created a nuisance, and they were going under the fence to cross Ocean Ave to get food and their lives were endangered.
After that, we were less worried about the cops, and instead of coming in at 5 a.m. in the morning and 10 p.m at night, we were able to in later in the a.m. and earlier in the p.m.
This is civil disobedience.
I know many of you out there do the same thing. Bravo!!
I am not advocating civil disobedience in this situation, but I am telling you about acts of civil disobedience that have occurred elsewhere.
By the way, the head of County Health who justifies the trapping and killing of these cats is Jonathan Fielding, who also supported killing hundreds of California Ground Squirrels in that same SM park three years ago.
He said the squirrels might some day carry bubonic plague or rabies. He justified his actions by saying his vector control people knew what they were doing because they had 35 years of combined experience.
They killed them despite that fact there was no ordinance to support their killing, only their opinion they constituted a vague threat in the future.
This is Fileding's email address:
Let Jonathan know that we will oppose trapping and killing of feral cats whereever the County chooses to take such an action.
No more Jonathan!
There are any number of complex reasons LA does not have a City-wide TNR policy, and among those include legal thinking deeming "feral" cats as both "wildlife" and as pets at the same time.
If they are considered wildlife, you cannot feed them; if they are considered house cats (felis Domesticus), feral or not, you cannot have more than three on any property without a license, although if you read M.C. 53.50, it is obvious that kennel refers to a business and not a private resident having four cats.
Another 53* ordinance forbids allowing owned or controlled animals to wander onto public property--UNLESS THEY ARE CATS. Their legal eagles think this ordinance has to be changed too in order to support TNR.
Then too is the issue of ownership. You own a cat if you feed it on your property for 30 days. If it is an owned cat you are obligated to take care of it with food, water, shelter. Nowhere does anyone a distinction between owning a feral cat or a house cat.
Animal Services goes further and requires medical care.
(It is another issue altogether whether anyone, including a caretaker, owns the ferals or strays they feed on public property or in supermarket parking lot.)
However, then if you have more than three "feral" or stray cats in this way, you violate the kennel law, 53.50 even though you are not keeping them for commercial purposes. If you read 53.50, it is clear that is the ordinance is for the purpose of controlling business use, not as a club to be used against old ladies or Ron Mason.
Then if forced by Animal Services to stop feeding them because either they are considered wildlife, or because should be starved out to prevent congregating in one place creating a nuisance as Office Munez of the ACTF told me, then you are committing either animal neglect or animal abandonment if they fall into the category of "dog" or "cat" as commonly used in the state Penal Code.
In any event, the lawsuit I posted yesterday by the environmental groups has led the City Attorney to deem it necessary that all of these laws be changed to specifically allow TNR as a City policy--all of them. This requires a CEQA study.
The City (i.e., the Dolt) has determined that as part of a CEQA study, the City has to study a certain number of feral colonies to see if proper TNR management causes a decrease in colony numbers.
Of course, such a study would take years, which means the CEQA would take years, which means TNR would take years.
I was told by someone in the Mayor's Office that all this had been determined by a gaggle of TNR activists and city attorneys.
The City has to go to court regarding TNR and the lawsuit, and their own attorneys have required them to play chicken so as not to give the plaintiff's such as the Audubon Society "any ammunition."
I really don't know what that means, although it does appear to mean that the City will claim it is enforcing all the above codes (Article 3, sections 53.00 and on) including on private TNR controlled colonies, even though the ordinances do not apply to feral cats except by an incredible stretch of the imagination. None of this has been court tested.
However, this tactic seems directed to pretend the City has never broken any of these stretched definition laws itself, nor encouraged TNR in any way--which they have and did.
However, they have now gone a step further, bending even more over backward, and LAAS personnel have been told to go after colonies and caretakers, so as to show the City is not ignoring the no-TNR laws, WHICH REALLY ARE NOT ANTI-TNR LAWS AND DON'T APPLY!! This directive is tantamount ro admitting the City feels those laws cover private TNR caretaking.
(LAAS has been directed not only to stop advertising TNR, but also not to help in any TNR efforts, and possibly not give out TNR S/N certificates.
ALSO, I have been told that LAAS and the ACTF will actively go after caretakers if there is a complaint, because the lawsuit has already suggested that the City is not enforcing against private TNR groups as part of their pro TNR stance. This gives Officer Munez his justification to go after 84 year old cat ladies.
I have been told no amateur is capable of grasping the broad implications and great stretch of logical thinking that has already taken place on these issues by the professional city bureaucrats and their lawyers that actually do the work. Really, this is what I was told.
I asked why is the lawsuit not merely challenged as saying the multiple 53 ordinances do not apply to private feeding of feral cats, although two of them WOULD apply to passing a Citywide official TNR ordinance allowing it. The answer was, basically, the bureaucrats and lawyers know as opposed to blogging critics and other amateurs.
If you want, given time I can lead all of you through the various steps of the lawsuit, the principals, and the legal reasoning as well as the procedural laws applying in this kind of lawsuit.
However, this would take some heavy work on my part and I am loathe to do it unless there is a great outcry for this information.
The first step would be for you, who are interested, to read the lawsuit and ponder the bull involved.
Then read the entire Municipal Code, Section 3, article 53.00 onwards. Then tell me if you are interested and I will dig deeper.
Municipal Codes Involved:
What bothers me is the utter arrogance of the Mayor's Office that the public and critics are not capable of following all the deep logical and legal thinking done by their own bureaucrats and lawsuit-intolerant city attorneys.
I was even asked for the Latin name for feral cat as opposed to felis Domesticus, applied to the domesticated cat. I am sure this was sarcasm, and in response I could ask whether he thought that a cat changed species once it was outside the house for a few months.
Apparently this rational and educated bureaucrat thought "feral" meant the same thing as "wild."
For what it's worth, I gave a copy of your post re: Munoz and the Animal Cruelty Task Force to Councilman Tony Cardenas last night at the Stray Cat Alliance event.
I gave it to him because he was one of the people behind the creation of the ACTF. I explained to him what has been going on re the people who feed the feral cats - I told him to look around the room - that it was filled with those very people, many of them little old ladies who, at great expense to themselves, feed and trap and pay to have those cats s/n.
I said that while I know the City does not have an official TNR policy because of environmental concerns, someone needs to call off the ACTF and LAAS - and basically tell them not to threaten these feral cat colony caretakers - that they fear for their safety and their lives.
Cardenas listened to me and took the piece of paper I gave him.... and hopefully, after he saw the story of an 85 year old lady who goes out every night to feed multitudes of cats at this event... he will read what I gave him and find some way to do something about it. Perhaps some urging from your readers to Tony Cardenas might illuminate this issue even more to him, especially since he was given an award from the Stray Cat Alliance last night.
The Pet Press
It is certainly not going to hurt to contact Carenas, although given the City Attorney's gutlessness, I don't think Tony can do much.
Fax: (818) 778-4998
Three wildlife nonprofits have gone after the City's TNR program, and forced them to do a CEQA study of a citywide TNR program.
The City Attorney requires that the Department enforce a part of the City Ordnance section about not feeding homeless cats and dogs, because such feeding also "inevitably" feeds wildlife, or they are considered an owned or controlled animal running free on public property when the ordinance specifically exempts cats.
The City has been hindered in completing a CEQA investigation because feeders will not identify their colonies. The CEQA study is for investigation of whether populations are controlled, song birds are being killed in huge numbers, urine and feces causing environmental problems.
This is a City Attorney's guideline for LAAS to follow until the TNR issue is settled, which it may never be. This is not law and I don't think there is even a precedent in California or LA City. The attorney involved is probably Dov Lesel who appears to be really, really chicken *****.
Below is a link to the lawsuit. The City and LAAS have caved on the no-feeding aspect of the lawsuit even though it has not gone before a judge.
Of course, as long as the City has an official "interpreted by Dov" policy of going after feeders/caretakers until TNR is passed, who would let anyone in the City know where their colonies are?
Colonies are not outlawed--they won't go after them, although now, once again, LAAS is supposed to loan out traps.However, none of this justify's the ACTF to act against feeders or colonies, unless they are saying that compliance with a judge's order is their foremost problem. This has nothing to do with animal cruelty. ACTF is administering their own law.
Here is the name and phone number of the plaintiff attorney:Babak Naficy. Phone (805) 593-0926.
There is a second phone for an Inglewood location. Tel: 310-348-8495I suggest you read the lawsuit and think of rebuttals for every point. Then call Naficy and complain but especially Dov for being such a chicken****.
It will do absolutely no good, but you'll feel better.Dov is at: Dov.Lesel@lacity.org.
Tell Dov not to be so chicken shit and caving to some lawsuit. Santa Monica failed its conscience over and over because of a VERY timid City attorney. Our's appears gutless too.In addition, I think the City does not know how to do a CEQA because they are defining it in terms it will take years to complete; i.e., seeing the effect of TNR over a period of years.
This is a quick post in response to an earlier comment question. Much more later.
Animal Services and the ACTF are enforcing a law that does not exist when it comes to harassing colony feeders.
"Feral Cat" is not a legal term. In fact, the Dept. of Fish and Game refers to domestic cats as non-game animals, i.e., those that can be killed, as different from wildlife. They talk about free roaming cats as a danger to wildlife, clearly making the distinction.
The California Penal Code only says owners must take care of owned animals, and if feral are considered "owned" then the colony manager must take care of them; i.e., providing food, water, shelter and vet bills.
But, to prove a colony manager is not taking care of cats requires them to access the cat's health, which means trapping them and examining them.
If free roaming, unowned domestic cats are not fed or given water, etc., then, since they are not owned by definition, there is no obligation to provide care.
In any event, when Animal Services or the ACTF goes after a colony or feeder, they are enforcing only their opinion that these cats can be caught and killed or the feeder arrested for violation of CA PC.
Of course if the cats are on the feeder's property, then they are considered owned animals and different rules apply.
But when feeders feed cats in an alley or public property, they are not breaking any law, and neither are the cats considered animals that can be killed or even seized.
Even by the department's own definitions, "feral" or free roaming vats, unowned cats are not considered wildlife, even by their own policy or statistics.
So, if they grab you for feeding alley cats, or tell you to stop feeding on-your-own property cats, they are either breaking the law by enforcing a non-existent law, or telling you to break a CA Penal Code law requiring owners to provide food, shelter and water.
I talked to Bonnie Brown, director of Nevada Humane who has taken Reno to No-Kill. Bonnie is a protege of Winograd.
Nevada Humane is the private side of a cooperative agreement with the Washoe County municipal shelter, much like the San Francisco agreement between SFACC/SFSPCA.
I didn't ask the question before, but the combined budget of the County and Nevada Humane is about $14,000,000 a year, while LAAS, who handles three times the number of animals has an operating budget of, what is it now, $20,000,000?
However, the LAAS budget, if we include retirement and a lot of other stuff is about $35-40,000,000 I do not remember the amount anymore. I don't know whether the NH/WCACC total is the deluxe tricked out version that includes retirement, or is strictly the operational budget.
In any event, their combined budget is in the same general ballpark as LAAS, as opposed to just the operating budget of NH of about $4,000,000 as being the budget for the entire NH/Washoe County.There is a summary of the combined kill rate immediately below and below that a link to their stats through August of this year. Bonnie said their intake has dramatically increased because of foreclosures just as Boks claims for LA. So Boks is not all wet here like I thought. The increase in kill rate has hit Reno also.
Until June of this year they were saving about 90% of dogs and cats. June through August were bad for cats, reaching about a 20% kill rate, far, far lower than LAAS. Even then, the kill rate dropped by 35% over the year before.
In any event, except for these three months, NH/Washoe County is truly No Kill, and they have an impound rate per thousand people much larger than LA.
Nevada Humane Society Statistics for 2008 through July
Reduction in killing (dogs and cats combined, NHS and WCRAS combined):
• 2006: 31.7% killed
• 2007: 15.2% killed
• 2008 year to date (end of July): 10.8% killed
Current countywide save rate is 89.2% making Washoe County one of the safest in the country for homeless dogs and cats.
Increase in pet adoption at NHS (dogs and cats combined):
• 2006: 4,539
• 2007: 7,452 (Including all animals 8,030 adoptions)
• 2008 year to date (end of July): 4,365 (up 6% over 2007)
July 2008 was the best pet adoption month ever at NHS with 862 animals going to good new homes in the community. (Note: this includes all animals.)
Dramatic increase in volunteers at NHS:
• February 2007: 30
• December 13, 2007: 1,205
• August 7, 2008: 2,230 — including 679 people who have offered to provide foster care to animals in their homes.
• Pit Bull Spay/Neuter $5 Rebate Program: 446 dogs over past 11 months
• Seniors for Seniors Pet Adoption Program (People 55+ adopt pets 6 years old or up for free.): 227 senior citizens adopted pets free this year. (We would love to get the word out about this program to increase the number of people who take advantage of it.)
• Animal Help Desk: Averaging 1,700 calls and e-mails per month. The Help Desk provides free information and assistance to people who have an animal-related problem.
• Low-cost and free spay/neuter for cats: Available through the NHS Clinic and voucher program on a sliding scale fee basis.
2008 Incoming animals, year to date: 75 more dogs, 294 fewer cats, than 2007.
NOTICE THE 679 FOSTERS.
Statistics worksheet September 2007 to August 2008:
A week ago this past Monday, I talked to an officer Munez who identified himself as being ACTF. I know this is true because I called the ACTF number and he identified himself as such.
I have not posted this before as I wanted others and the media to contact him about ACTF policy before his superiors told him to shut up.
I was calling because someone told me about a cat torturing here in the Valley.
Munez told me no one reported it.
I said I was reporting it because the people who saw the cat afterwards and took it to a vet, were feral cat people who didn't want LAAS or the ACTF to know they existed; that is, they were afraid of his task force and animal control.
His surprising response was they that had a right to be scared, as feral cat "hoarders" and feral colonies were THEIR BIGGEST PROBLEM, and that they did actively go after feeders and hoarders.
In other words, Madow and Mason are not isolated cases but part of a general policy. This is at complete odds with Boks stated proposal to make TNR the accepted City policy, and also at odds with the official policy of a number of major cities, including New York.
Munez said TNR does not work because it attracts other cats, possum, raccoons, etc., and they offend residents. He asked me how would I feel if someone next door had 50 cats.
He said The only proper way to treat the feeders was to ban feeding, and the cats will go away!
I asked, "Where would they go? Tijuana?" His response was they would disperse and not be a "problem" in any specific area.
Of course, logically, if anyone feeds any of those dispersed cats, they are being just like the feeders that caused colonies to originate before. That is, new colonies would start up somewhere else involving other people and the same or other cats.
The ACTF policy is in 180 degree opposition to Boks stated pro TNR policy, and is absolutely clueless regarding how to treat animals: starve them out!
By the way, Munez said there was nothing that could be done about the cat torturing without a body!! He said they needed exidence that a torturing occurred and definitely seeing the body. As the torturing had happened two weeks before, there was no body.
The body was found at a specific address but he refused to investigate in any way without the body.
So, in summary, the ACTF goes after people who have "too many cats," or who maintain a feral colony, but they do not investigate animal torturing. Go figure.
I received this email from Brad Zinsmaster:
On 9 September, the Los Angeles City Council was flooded with disgruntled employees and other individuals that were in attendance to speak against Ed Boks and the conditions at the Los Angeles Animal Services shelters and to express a vote of "no confidence" for the General Manager. A motion was taken to continue this matter in a hearing to be held by the Personnel Committee at a later date.
On 7 October, Councilmember Dennis Zine held a Personnel Committee hearing to further address all related matters. For three and a half hours, speaker after speaker came to the microphone to inform the committee of the poor management by Ed Boks and the conditions in the shelters in the City of Los Angeles. Very serious issues were addressed. Ed Boks was not in attendance.
As a result of the above hearing, the Mayor was supposed to meet with Ed Boks to specifically address the concerns expressed at the hearing. Since I did not see anything further in any of the online documents related to File #08-2377 indicating follow-up action, I decided to make a phone call to the Mayor's office.
I was transferred to several different departments before I finally got to speak with Aaron Gross. He is the individual tasked with handling the Council Relations for the Mayor.
Per my conversation with Mr. Gross this afternoon, "The Mayor has no intention of removing him (Ed Boks)."
LEGISLATIVE & INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONSAaron Gross, Council Legislative Deputy ............... 213 978-0681
Inventor Michelson offers $75M for a way to sterilize pets
By Sharon L. Peters, Special for USA TODAY
A very rich, very impatient retired surgeon wants the pet overpopulation solved.
So Gary Michelson has put a hard-to-ignore enticement on the table: $75 million.
The person or group that comes up first with a safe, one-time non-surgical means to sterilize male and female cats and dogs gets $25 million, Michelson's non-profit Found Animals Foundation will announce today at the National Spay/Neuter Conference in Chicago. And up to $50 million more will be available to support the research of one or several individuals who come forward with plausible approaches.
"No one will stop what they're doing and turn their attention to this problem for $10 million. That's not enough," says Michelson, 59, a retired Los Angeles orthopedic surgeon who invented and patented hundreds of surgical instruments, won an infringement case in 2005 and landed at No. 317 on Forbes' 400 Richest Americans list last month.
Animal lover Michelson is convinced, like most animal-welfare experts, that if unwanted litters never materialized, U.S. shelters wouldn't be euthanizing 4 million to 6 million animals a year.
He "absolutely" believes that the $25 million carrot, coupled with the cash grants to spur research, will prompt sufficient activity that an affordable non-surgical sterilant will be on the market within 10 years.
The solution may originate from any of several arenas — from human or animal researchers who are endocrinologists, neuroscientists, reproductive biologists, molecular technology experts, or even pharmacology specialists.
"We're completely agnostic regarding the approach," says foundation executive director Aimee Gilbreath. "We'll consider anything. We really believe if cutting-edge technologies are applied we can solve this."
The foundation is partnering with the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs, a non-profit that for eight years has pressed for non-surgical approaches to pet sterilization, believing that millions more pets would be sterilized if there were a non-surgical alternative. "This is huge for our cause," says alliance president Joyce Briggs.
It is estimated that nearly 73% of dog owners and 86% of cat owners now spay or neuter their pets. But the rest mostly seem inclined to keep things as they are. The very notion of surgery is off-putting or scary to some of them, many of whom worry about anesthesia, experts say. Sterilization can cost $150 or more per animal and requires a substantial time commitment as the owner must transport the animal to a vet and return hours later, a journey of many miles in rural areas.
Also, surgery is cumbersome "in the field," where groups attempt to conduct on-site mobile sterilizations in neighborhoods or communities where a high percentage of pets are known to be producing litters year after year.
A quick, reliable, life-of-the-pet sterilant "would completely change" the way sterilization-focused non-profit groups spend their time and resources, says Tonja Robertson, founder of Spay/Neuter Indiana Pets. She and three other volunteers devoted nearly 600 hours from April 1 to Sept. 30.
They spread the spay/neuter word in grocery-store parking lots in rural, low-income southern Indiana. They distributed discount sterilization vouchers and, three times a month, transported a dozen or more pets to a veterinarian, then picked them up after the surgery (200 miles in all).
That resulted in 205 cats and 38 dogs being fixed. "If we could have a quick, non-surgical method," Robertson says, "we'd set up once a week in areas of need, get the job done, and we could redirect our efforts to adoption or cruelty."
Michelson's foundation has put together a review board of experts from several disciplines and will add more if proposals from unexpected arenas arrive. The board will meet in January to consider which proposals will receive a first-stage grant.
To those who object to his channeling so much money to help animals when there are so many human problems to be solved, Michelson has a simple answer: his medical research foundation, which has funded more than $110 million in research and discovery, most of it related to hereditary diseases.
He offers no apologies for his pet program.
Animals are "helpless. They depend on humans for a good life," says Michelson, who shares his home with two rescued pit bulls and a runt-of-the-litter whippet.
It's unclear how veterinarians will react to whatever alternative sterilization method might emerge from the contest as they will want to assess its safety and effectiveness, says Gail Golab of the American Veterinary Medical Association. But, she says, her group is on record as supporting efforts to non-surgically sterilize dogs and cats.
On February 7 and 8, 2007, I placed a lot of information about research into chemical or biological sterilization efforts around the world. Take a look at them.
At that Time, Judith Levy felt that $10,000,000 might clinch the deal of finding non-surgical and permanent chemical or biological sterilization of dogs and cats. This would be especially welcome to the world of feral cats and dogs, not only here, but around the world where they do mass "cullings" of dogs, rabbits and cats in often extremely brutal.
Gary may be opening that door.
I suggest FAF open a way for the public to help fund this research. I'll donate.
Found Animal Friends Website:
This gives all the contact numbers and grant/prize info.
Gary, we love you. This is what we need, fundamental research and science.
Gary, please forgive me for all the nasty things I've said about you.
Pet contraception gets boost from billionaire
Posted by Deb Wood, special to The Oregonian October 16, 2008 15:18PM
Spay and neuter surgeries are currently the only form of contraception for cats and dogs. The result is too many unwanted pets being euthanized in shelters.
On September 30, I wrote a column about the Portland-based Alliance for Contraception in Cats & Dogs and their efforts to find a non-surgical way to permanently sterilize cats and dogs.
Today, the organization announced that they have an important new partner. Billionaire inventor (and human doctor) Gary Michelson is promising a $25 million prize to anyone who comes up with a feasible dog and cat contraceptive. He's also offering grants totalling up to $50 million to encourage research in the area.
Michelson made his fortune inventing medical devices, mostly to help orthopedic surgeons like himself. He formed the nonprofit Found Animals Foundation in 2005 to use scientific and innovative thinking as part of the solution to pet overpopulation problems.
"Found Animals recognizes that the research required to develop and test novel approaches to pet sterilization will take time and money," said a press release that came out today from the Found Animals Foundation and the Alliance for Contraception in Cats & Dogs. They believe the $25 million Michelson Prize and the $50 million earmarked for research grants will initiate and maintain promising research in the field.
"Surgical spay/neuter procedures are just too expensive and inconvenient for many pet owners -- we need a better solution. We hope that the Michelson Prize and Grants in Reproductive Biology will encourage the best and brightest minds in science to take on the challenge of developing an innovative non-surgical sterilization product that will ultimately prevent death and suffering for millions of cats and dogs worldwide," said Aimee Gilbreath, the executive director of the Found Animals Foundation.
A colony manager at Vanalden and Nordhoff found a mom cat three days ago with her mouth sewn shut and her legs burned. She was rushed to a vet, but died there. She left 6 kittens. We are trying to trap them. They are maybe 4 months old. I have not seen the kittens.
The house where the mom was found with the kittens are located is 3 houses North of Nordhoff and the third house on the left. The house is empty and fenced off. Apparently there are "visitors" at night. Even with the big deflation in housing prices, these may still be million dollar homes.
One suspect is a woman, described only as white, walking with a cane. I doubt it.
There is a friendly homeless man, Jimmy, who stpos by at about midnight to observe the house and its surroundings. Jimmy is very thin and looks--I was told--Middle Eastern.
I too plan on checking this house nightly.
Perhaps some of you might want to check too.
This is at Vanalden, which is between Reseda and Wilber off Nordhoff. Turn North on Vanalden and it is the 3rd house on the left (West).
The September LAAS stats are out.
The number of cats and dogs killed for September 2008 versus September 2007 is 40% higher!!!!!
The number of kittens killed it is 43% higher.
Adoptions were up 20% and New Hope rescues were about the same.
DOA is up 55% compared to the same 12 month period which included 1/2 of Ed's first year here!
Cat and dog September impounds were up 24% over September 2007, and kill numbers were up 40%. LAAS does not do well even with small increases in impounds.
For all Other Animals, the kill numbers are up 61%. No time to be a gerbil now.
On October 8, 2008, Marc Madow went to trial at Superior Court in Van Nuys for violation of the City's kennel law 5150, having more than three cats without a kennel permit.
LAAS didn't show up. The charges were dropped. The case is over until next time.
The Mason and Madow cases demonstrate that many, many people have more than the legal limit of cats or dogs and are subject to search and seizure.
I do agree that individuals that that have too many cats indoors and out have a responsibility to take care of them. This means spaying and neutering of outdoor "ferals."
Unfortunately, many such people get over their head and the animals suffer.
LAAS and the ACTF have only two ways of responding: visiting and giving citations in the form of orders for compliance of the three cat/dog law, or
searching, seizing and killing.
With the latter approach they seize, keep them in Evidence Animal isolation where they will not be seen or adopted, and then killed.
The owner/colony manager have no rights or defense against neighbor complaints or City assaults--none. They are only "protected" by LAAS ignoring the situation by fair minded field personnel.
Outdoor colony managers of colonies not attached to the manager's property are always at risk of neighbor complaint. AND, in many cases are not able to protect or take care of ill or injured animals because they cannot trap them in neighborhoods where residents are semi-hostile towards the cats and managers.
When in Santa Monica I was threatened with death by a resident that lived across the street and half a block away. I have never managed a colony except along the bluffs in Santa Monica where someone was not complaining.
To legalize TNR does not grant the manager from neighbor retribution or freedom from City action.
I am also quite convince that TNR and universal S/N has that much effect on feral cat populations, owner turn-ins, field impounds or resident submitted impounds.
If you look at the impound stats for cats over the past seven years, despite ever increasing spay/neuter efforts by rescue and S/N organizations, the number of cats impounded is absolutely the same as seven years ago:
Seven years ago the number of cats impounded was 21,201; this year it is 22,720, an increase of 7% over 2001-2002.
This is despite ever increasing spay/neuter certificates handed out by the City: 38,000 in 2005, and 54,000 over the past 12 months, a 30% increase. That is, while spay/neuter certificates have dramatically increased, impounds have increased or stayed the same over the past seven years.
S/N proponents, unwilling to see the consequences, want to do more of the same, hoping more of the same will yield a solution.
Part of the problem is that we do not know the magnitude of the problem. We don't have the information although LAAS does have much of the info, they are not releasing it.
Some information we would need to know is the total housed cat/dog population in the City. "Official" estimates range between 400,000 and 700,000, which means about one cat in every 3.4 households.
Also, by "expert" opinion, about 5% of these housed animals lose their homes and become part of the outdoor population. This is approximately 30,000 a year. We don't know how many of that population has been sterilized although animal services would note sterile animals on impound; therefore, they would have some handle on that number.
We have no idea how many unhoused cats and feral cats live in the streets, parks, school and college campuses exist. Assuming the same number but a lower sterilization rate, there may be as many as another 240,000 non-sterilized cats on the streets.
If this is an accurate number, according to Animal Birth Control estimates, 175,000 street animals would need to be S/N a year, before we can begin to reduce the feral population and LAAS car impounds.
Clinico pledges to do 8 X 3,500 S/N surgeries a year in the LA area. Id do not know how many of these will be in the City proper. But if it is 4, then they will S/N 14,000 in LA itself, just a drop in the bucket.
I do not see ANY solution until veterinarian researchers develop an effective sterilization "vaccine" or Chemical agent sterilization, and we pass a law similar to the Roman law about cats.
Currently in Rome, a cat has a right to live in peace wherever it is born. It has as much right as property owners and they are protected legally. Of course many property owners will kill ferals anyway despite protection, but such legal protection, I believe, will beget a deeper acceptance of ferals and their right to live.
In Rome, the City helps colony managers by helping colony managers by providing on-site veterinarian care and S/N services.
That is, the legal and prevailing public attitude about feral cats is much different from LA's.
This is far different from the attitude of those who now protect and manage colonies. The present attitude is purely defensive while in Rome it is not even proactive as they see it not so much as a problem that has to be solved, but of maintaining the status quo. The attitude towards animals in the United States is quite barbaric still.
Laws should protect animals
Assembly Bill 2296’s punishment of speech may lead activists to more violence to make their voices heard
Dan Kapelovitz, Jill Ryther and Jaimie Bryant
Published: Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Members of the campus community recently received an e-mail from UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block extolling the virtues of Assembly Bill 2296, a new law that restricts the speech of animal-rights activists (whom he calls “anti-animal research extremists”) in order to protect animal researchers. As this law moved toward passage, much was said about the fear animal researchers feel when confronted by protestors. By contrast, few have commented on the pain and terror experienced by animals used in experiments or have explained why there is protest against animal research at UCLA and other institutions in the first place.
Every day at places like UCLA, animals are subjected to excruciating, unrelieved pain as involuntary subjects in research experiments that have not been described or justified to the public. Researchers and the heads of experiments hide behind unsupported general claims that such research is necessary and productive for human health, but they offer no information by which the public can assess their claims as to specific experiments.
Therefore, the public has no information about the research that is being done or whether, in fact, any of it has led to or has the potential to lead to worthwhile advancements. Researchers and the heads of institutions like UCLA reject calls for transparency about the animal research that is conducted.
Because of the way research applications are reviewed and funded, it is highly likely that research dollars are wasted on useless animal testing and experiments. Funding might well have been more productively invested in research methods that bear actual fruit in advancing human health.
Animal researchers like to further argue that they are in complete compliance with state anticruelty statutes and federal laws that regulate scientific research on animals. However, as legally interpreted, neither state nor federal laws provide any protection to animals tortured at institutions like UCLA.
State anticruelty statutes define “cruel” as only the infliction of “unnecessary” suffering on animals. Scientific research is arbitrarily defined as “necessary,” which means that the infliction of even the most horrific suffering on animals falls outside the legal boundaries of the “anticruelty” statutes.
Federal law is no different. The Animal Welfare Act purports to regulate scientific research, yet the AWA covers only a very small minority of the animals used in research and explicitly states that none of its provisions can be used to impede or affect research design or implementation. The AWA does not prevent the infliction of horrific suffering on animals; it only creates paperwork for research scientists who need to provide minimal justifications for their unwillingness to provide pain relief or consider alternatives to animal-based research or testing.
Chancellor Block, a former animal researcher himself, praises AB 2296 for providing new protections for animal researchers, but animal researchers already have complete legal protection from violent conduct. That is why we believe that a primary purpose of the new law is to intimidate peaceful protestors; the first versions of the law were even more expansive in curtailing their speech. Even though AB 2296 was reduced in scope before it was enacted, it still punishes speech.
Given the history of law enforcement reactions to animal advocacy protests, we believe that such a law is likely to be abused by law enforcement officials who use their authority to intimidate peaceful animal activists into silence. It is animals – and the people who care about them – who are not sufficiently protected by existing laws.
Unfortunately, laws like this – whose focus is the speech of protestors – may actually increase violent acts against researchers rather than diminish them. When lawful speech is stifled by expansive use of such laws to intimidate protestors, activists concerned about imminent and ongoing violence against animals may feel the need to resort to methods other than speech to have their voices heard. That tragedy could be avoided with more transparency and more public debate about whether the extreme pain inflicted on animals is justified.
Dan Kapelovitz is President of the Animal Law Society at the UCLA School of Law. Ryther is the Communications Director of the Animal Law Society at the UCLA School of Law. Bryant is Professor of Law, Faculty Adviser to the Animal Law Society at the UCLA School of Law.
There is an amazing rumor that Lloyd Levine will replace Boks.
Is Mayor Tony so daft as to make this so? Sure, Lloyd is a friend of activists, but is that what we need?
No, we need a national search--a very, very transparent search.
I have already been canvassing various shelter directors for suggestions as to who would fit the bill. I have found several who might commit to being part of the selection process, including Bonnie Brown from Reno, a Winograd protege, and Carl Friedman, former head of the San Francisco municipal shelter, who brought the live save rate up to 82%, and alone with the SFSPCA, brought the live save rate up to 87%.
Also volunteering would be Barry Evans, former head of the Sonoma County shelter system.
No specific names have been mentioned yet.
But jeez, without a search and vetting, I can guarantee the next autocratically appointed GM will be a worse performer than Boks.
When everyone has a say in the choice and the "best" candidate is appointed, there is a greater chance of an across the board cooperation.
In the meantime, I would not put it past Mayor Tony to deliberately choose the worst candidate just to get back at us.
I would assume that Zine and Cardenas would have some input into forcing Mayor Tony into a national search. We need to demand a search. Hell, I don't want to have to run this blog for another two years.
Started at 6:42 p.m.
Councilmembers Zine, Cardenas, present, Parks, Absent
Boks Also Absent.
Zine: There is only one item on the agenda. There are a number of representatives from animal services, commissioners, union, public. We will hear from all. We did the evening meeting so employees and public could attend. This Committee will not take any action as an unfair labor practice is pending. We have no jurisdiction. It's all up to mayor. We have no power to direct, only the commission and mayor have the power. Please, don't use name of employees. I came forward to set up this meting.
How many have attended council meeting?
How many not?
Okay, Sergeant at arms makes sure the meeting is orderly. Let's be professional. It will be videotaped for channel 35 for a later broadcast.
I see representation from the union. Let's begin with them, then dept employees then public. Please, fill out a speaker card.
Julie Butcher, seiu local 721, Thanks for taking the time, thanks from the union and the animals we serve. These are workers of animal services. This was not our first stop with these discussions. We've raised concerns before. We have specific proposals. We support new spayneuter ordinance. We need more folks knocking on doors, more mobile spay, need to license more animals, reach out to vommunities, messages in multiple languages, reuinite more, adopt out more.
Needs of animals not being served by current management. We tried to work with the dept, dept mgmt, to no avail.
Zine: Please, explain.
Julie: We presented you with incredible detail on every effort we made. We recognize courage of workers for standing up, never seen retaliation like this before from this mgmt.
Zine: I spent 33 years with lapd, retired 2001. I'm concerned about city employees. I'm against any retaliation. I want to know about any retaliation personally. There will be no retaliation against anyone who testifies in this hearing. We will intercede.
It's illegal to retaliate. I won't tolerate it.
I know after last meeting the GM visited certain facilities. You asked for union protection. We are responsible for 40,000 employees.
Union leader Victor Gordo: Thanks. First we are not happy to be here. We tried to work with mgmt of this dept as individual unions and collectively. We've met with him, not withstanding his communication (saying we didn't).
There is now an unfair labor practice charge pending with employee relations board filed after city council meeting. You will see specific examples of retaliation.
It started back in march 2008 when we tried to work with gm, then with the mayors office. The gm acknowledges that he received names from mayors office and acted upon it. It's startling to see it in
writing. The charge itself is 7-8 pages, attachments back up unfair labor practices and retaliation. This is unprecedented for this many members to stand up, to say we've had it, together with animal rights community. We can't bear to watch animals being treated this way by mgmt policies and procedures. We've been treated poorly, residents aren't getting services paid for and entitled to. We ask that you take an interest on behalf of animals, employees and constituents.
These are dept wide concerns, concerned equally with animal rights, employee safety. Animal welfare at stake here. I've worked with 9 gms, never been this united (against one).
Resources are an issue, not resources, it's deployment of existing resources. It's alarming only one enforcement officer for 1M people. The enforcment unit disbanded so fewer anmals would be collected from the street, just so he can say we're nokill, fewer animals picked up, fewer to deal with. Who suffers?; animals and public. It's not acceptable. Warehousing is not acceptable.
Dog runs made for 1-2 dogs. They put 7 in the runs. Dog fights,employees have to break up the fights.
Misleading data handed to you. We want more than just PR. All we've gotten is poor judgement and retaliation. In the letter sent to you by gm said only small group of people dislike Boks. You saw at council that is not the case. It's dept wide. His Sept 9 letter said we didn't try to work with him. That's incorrect, misleading.
In boks own emails it shows that we tried to resolve these issues with him. I question the veracity of his statements and data given to council. We're tired of mismanagement , poor judgement, misleading data. He is not responsive to you, poor services, endangerment of animals. They are all an equal danger to public safety. We have mgmt team who is not leading and employees can't follow. Please, take it seriously. We are frustated, cannot follow someone who isn't leading.
Zine: i got a leltter today from boks, said he can't attend the meeting, wants to discuss action plan. He said he will meet with union and mayor 0ct 9. Will you be a part of that meeting?
Victor: Yes, mayors office asked to meet. We had previous meetings with the mayors office which resulted in retaliation.
Zine. Was that meeting called as result of this meeting?
Zine: The mayor is the man who hires gms. The Mayor can terminate, then gm can come to city council to try to get job back. Mayor hires, fires, we only confirm.
Zine: Contact my office if there are any results of that meeting. Did you talk to (animal services) commission?
Victor: We have attended meetings.
Julie: We were at commission. Their role is unclear. Commissioners are here tonight. There's no one on the planet that these workers haven not talked to (laughter, applause).
Keith Kramer: Captain,sen aco 2, (hands over documents), 24 years with dept, boardmember of la chapter of labor international union, 777.
In my 24 years during several gms, the only thing that remains the same is change. Never before has dept mgmt and employees been so deeply divided. Please, read through the materials, call if you have questions. We are representing half of the dept employees against Boks.If it fails, our stressful working environment will get worse.
We will lose employees. They will quit because of boks.
Cardenas: Who do you represent?
Kramer: Law enforcmenet, field operations, ACOs, Sen ACOs, WV animal shelter, all under my authority, ACTs, clerical.I also work with medical staff, RVTs, vets.
Zine: What is the organization of command?
Kramer: gm, 2 agms, direct field operations 2, then captains. acts are lowest
(a joke). Volunteers are not lowest (laughter).
Zine: Where did the agms come from? Work way up the ranks?
Kramer: One came from Dallas, other came from Parks Dept.
Glen Brown: I've been a commissioner since 2005, President since August 11.
My folks noticed this problem in the paper. No one brought this to us. (Actually, employees, volunteers, rescuers have been emailing, calling all the commissioners about this for over two years). We don't handle personnel issues. I invite employees and mgmt to try to work this out.
These are turbulent times. We try to be even handed. I do investigation work. I don't accept statements on face value. I visit the clinics, uh, I mean the shelters. I spoke with gm and mayors office looking for money for jobs. This should have come to our dept first, maybe the system could have worked. I invite all employees, staff, come back to try to work it out. We are not a rubber stamp for anybody.
We didn't know about this until saw in the paper. (I really doubt that statement. Everyone has known about these problems for years
Zine: The commission was unaware of dissatisfaction in dept?
Brown: I heard comments, didn't know it was on a mass basis, a movement. No one came to commision to tell us. The last time in 2005 there was a mass show of support for last GM. We are ready to handle problem.
Zine: Union, employees never came to comm to voice concerns?
Brown: Never came before us.
Zine: Does comm do valuations on gm?
Brown: We don't, it's the mayor's job. We ask boks to report to us, about data, but haven't launched an inquiry into that data. A lot of things need to be probed. We lost a lieutenant to county because of this. We can talk about it, work it out.
Zine: Is the gm responsive to commission? (employees laugh) Polices should go through commission. Is gm responsive to direction?
Brown: He sometimes is though not immediately, same with prior gm. You have to probe.
Zine: What about the nokill policy
Brown: We've had a discussion on what those numbers mean. Numbers may not be what they appear to be, need to probe differently. I'm interested in animal cruelty, homeland security. Animal activists were determined to be number one terrorist group in america. I'm trying to get homeland security funds to use against them.
Cardenas: Are you here as an individual or commissioner?
Brown: I'm here as commission president and individual
Cardenas: Are you speaking on behalf of commission?
Brown: Yes. (No, he's speaking only as himself. He doesn't understand the
question or law involved)
Cardenas: You go to shelters, you hear complaints? what do you do with them?
Brown: I've been gathering them, last six months
Cardenas: Why do you visit shelters?
Brown: To see what is going on, get a feel, and to shake hands, let them know that I'm there.
Cardenas: When they give you information, what should you do with it?
Brown: I have conversations about bad kennel design. It's tough to shovel waste Jacob Miller: I'm here to explain how he runs this, intimidation, act of compelling by threats, act of getting revenge. At all hands meetings he keeps employees in separate groups, we gave suggestions, were brushed aside, not direction we wanted to go, direction not clearly laid out. We were told to tell public we're becoming nokill, when we are low kill. An employee was shot down in front of over 100 employees, it continued. Boks said anyone not working toward poorly defined goals, he'll help him get a new job(fired). Divide and conquer. We are not allowed to question his way.
After the city council meeting, all supervisors were asked who worked to compare to people at council meeting. Employees can't attend meeting
on city time. After council meeting on 9/11 Boks went at 6 a.m. to talk to employees with no supervisors present at the shelter.
Boks returned with three citizens to question employees, found a supervisor, He let the citizens interrogate the supervisor. The gm defended citizens only, supervisor couldn't research any records, supervisor was degraded and bullied, forced her to pull up computer records, interrogated for over an hour.
Boks said she must comply as he is the gm. He wrote letter to city council saying we were complaining, he says my way or the hiway. He's made threats against us with threats. It's a hostile work environment, thanks.
Zine: How long with city?
Jacob: My life. 7 years as ACT,
Zine: How often all hands on deck meeting?
Jacob: Not recently probably because he can't answer questions. He couldn't tell us the difference between nokill and lokill. We were told to sit down, sit down, never answered.
Zine: Nokill, lokill, some animals are sick, injured. I discussed with gm. Are all euthanasias reported and included in the numbers? Or only adoptable animals that are euthanized?
Jacob: I don't control numbers. Boks is cooking the books. Animal classified one way when should be another way.
Zine: The account published, does it exclude ill, not adoptable animals?
Cardenas: When did all hands meetings start?
Jacob: Day one when Boks started. The front line employees, those in background, middle managers are wonderful people. The only people who show up to those meetings were front line employees, acts, vts, clerical, acos.
They are required to show up, at friendship park, 100 plus people attended meeting, conducted by Boks.
The purpose of meeting was because we would undergo radical change,
restructure, going nokill. He had cameras, independent filmers, filming his big show, after two meetings they stopped following him around (Someone was going to do a documentary of Boks making LA nokill. They realized they were wasting their time and stopped the move. People are concerned about ideas and messages, mission, values, logo.Why did we need new mission statement?
(Boks took the mission statement directly from New York) If we remembered the mission statement, we'd get a candy bar, i got one word wrong, no candy bar. He was patrionizing.
Cardenas: Patrionizing not against the law in this country. What was wrong?
Jacob: We never got any answers
Cardenas: Give specific example
Jacob: Lo kill and nokill. Why are we telling public we're going to nokill, why not lokill. Boks told the person who asked the question to sit down. Nokill by his definition means we will be killing some for behavior, medical, space. We felt it was a lie.
Zine: Is there a policy manual for dept? nokill, lokill.
Jacob: We haven't had a dept manual for years. We used to have hard copy and on intranet. There currently is no policy manual. Only two AGMs have policy manual. Ed boks doesn't give us tools or materials to get info out to employees. We didn't know if we could wear uniforms today. Can't make heads or tails, no manual. No clear policy. We have one 2002 copy of manual. No updates, no CD, or VHS, beta, dvd.
New programs are very confusing like bottle baby foster, new hope
Linda Gordon: 31 yrs, ACO, college degree, admin, senior mgmt analyst two. I sit in a corner somewhere, no one talks to me, if I die hopefully the cleaning crew will find me and haul me out,
Zine: Were you ostracized? Why in cubby hole?
Gordon: It's a passion in the dept. We are family here, all together, not just a job. My son works for dept, husband and son here to support me today. Commission stated they did not want to have anything to do with listening to employees.
Brown was on commission at that time. Commission divided on this issue. Mayor told commissioners not to be here tonight, other commissioner, president brown does not speak on behalf of the commission, we are willing and able to do the job that needs to be done, however, unable to do that because Boks not doing a service to or for city of LA. We are here because we went to mayor. Boks has failed. More than half employees are here. How can he expect us to move forward if we have no
confidence or trust in GM.
We worked with previous GMs. We are tough, committed to animals. We don't need a GM who can't tell truth to council. He's lied to you,
employees, public, need one with integrity, truthful. He can't see suffering of warehoused pets. We don't need a gm that if we want to know what's happening he tells us to read his blog. He sent email telling employees to read his blog if they want to know what's going on. He sees law enforcmenet as a burden, such as
He thinks only about public relations, writing on his blog and photo ops.
He blames his inability to lead on his staff/ We meed a GM who will lead by example. Boks renames programs, claims them as his own. He degrades, intimidates and blames employees. We need one who instills pride. We would settle for a gm that after 2.5 years at least knows our names.
Lack of leadership, atmosphere of fear and intimidation on a daily basis, thank you.
Zine: You do what?
Gordon: Strategic planning the ten steps to nokill. I'm putting action behind words. Boks made nokill our policy first few months but he gave no tools, means, methods to accomplish it. He just "said" we are nokill. He did nothing, no adoption programs.
No pet retention programs, all of the things we need.
Zine: When were you put on strategic plan detail?
Gordon: Feb 2008.
Zine: Two years after he decides to make actual nokill policy? Hmmm. What is your opinion of this gm verses others?
Gordon: i worked closely with each one since 1977. Overall there is no trust in Boks. He denies he said things or was even in a meeting even with 40 witnesses,
Zine: Is there a policy manual?
Gordon: Boks sent memo saying we have no procedure manual. We get info from email or blog.
Harbor has no clue what people at WLA are doing.
Diliberto: 18 years, 17 with dept, was commander, served under Boks for one year.
I keep in touch with employees. I'm now with lapd. Morale at lowest ever. Ive seen 9 GMs.
There is no leadership now, he rarely visited shelters, unless for self serving reason. He didn't care to know employees, didn't want to know them, focused on himself, getting personal publicity. When I went on workers comp, you'd think he'd call me, ask me how I was. I was on animal directors association.
The day after I went on leave he contacted pres of board asking to replace me. The pres called me in shock, she said no, he was not nominated. He's still trying to get on that board and no one has nominated him/ Boks wanted the position. He's not on that board. I went out on stress leave.
Cardenas: Would you be disqualified by your leave?
Diliberto: No. On board two years, VP.
Cardenas: Boks contacted third party and asked how they could create vacancy at your expense?
Diliberto: Yes. At staff meetings, he had his mind made up ahead of time. He'd say I want to do this, what do you think? Even if we said it was a bad idea, he'd do it anyway. He asked us to rubber stamp.
If program failed, he'd blame it on someone else or he'd say "if you knew it was wrong, why didn't you fight we harder to keep me from doing it?" We stopped giving him advice because he wouldn't take it. He wouldn't do what was right. He wanted to change the website.
He wanted to hire someone associated with, don't want to say it publicly but, connections with various animal rights groups Staff did not like her. We said it's a bad idea, staff hates her, he did it anyway. Website had all white people, there was a big to do. It was changed completely again. He said this woman will have complete authority over this website, she can put on it whatever she wanted. He said that's the way it's going to be, then the whole thing blew up, then he denied he said that.
Then he said why didn't you tell me I was saying something that was crazy? I said you weren't listening.
Cardenas: Did boks ever discuss hooters incident?
Diliberto: I was there for that. He presented as a done deal. Boks said hooters was a good idea, already had flyer done, just said we're going to do it. I was going through personal issues, work related, shutting down. Things he claims as successes were things that were already in place
before he got here, or things we already worked on, people weren't given credit when due. Boks is focused on himself and his accomplishments.
I worked on opening of shelters. I didn't even get an invitation when I spent 5-7 years planning them. Good employees have left dept and gone to la county, county recognizes these are great workers.
Zine: Employees please, stand, thanks
Diliberto: Boks never had my back. Stuckey always had my back. You can restore hope to animals.
Zine: We have no authority/. We will submit report to mayors office.
Questions, hooters, pitbulls? were you around? He was at council with the academy without approval.
Diliberto: It was discussed but never officially approved.
Zine: Some have access to firearms. Is there a policy for use? What report is made if its utilized?
Diliberto: There is a manual about firearms on animals. We only use on animals.
There is a form, when I was there, every time gun used, reviewed by supersivor
and signed. 38 caliber revolvers, shotguns, 12 gauge,
Zine: 30 people want to speak. Limit to five minutes, want new info only, personal
knowledge. Only taking testimony from those coming forward. Emails will be placed
in the file. We don't give credit to anonymous or ficticious info.
Commissioner atake: 2005 to 2007. I asked Boks to provide commission copy of
policy manual. Brown said nobody brought issues to commission, farthest from
truth. You need to evaluate commission as well. Look at minutes. I brought those
issues up during my tenure, but i was dismissed. I was told to shut up or else, so I
resigned. Blackman told me to shut up or else. Read my resignation letter, things
are the same if not worse. Many could not come tonight, afraid of retaliation, I
resigned because I couldn't be involved with demoralization.
Commissioner Laura Beth: I have couple of binders of documents. Tonight is
unprecedented, employees and activists united because there are serious
problems. It makes our city look bad. I have examples. The problem is lack of
business like strategy. We have a eries of programs, old programs with new
names, new programs that have no operation. New Hope is the old adoption
partner program. There has been no increase in rescue adoptions. Felix, info on a
web page, no operations. STAR program, get donations to use on animals with
extreme medical needs, only one animal helped. They told me its just a marketing
term only. New mission shelter sitting unused, clinics, none are operating, Boks
and Barth told to reject clinico, shows lack of understanding, we need surgeries,
fortunately commission passed it. Hooters, pitbull academy, endorsing candidates
on blogs, where does he get time to do all that blogging, misstatements to public,
during nokill month he killed 600 animal, said 95% nokill when euth is up 37%,
audits are embarrassment,
Zine: Manual for employees? ever discussed?
Laura Beth: I can't answer, didn't go to meetings after a while. 2002, 2003. there is
no manual, instructions, rules.
Zine: Animals put to sleep, accurate? is Boks excluding some from the count?
Laura: Impossible to answer, not in euth rooms counting. I look at stats, there is
deception in categorizing animals, 95% on way to nokill, we kill thousands more,
Zine: Animals that are sick, behavior problems, not included in euth figures?
Laura: Stats are separate, can't say inaccurate, those numbers are manipulated for
media, statements to you and to mayor. That is how we come up with kind of
statements like we are 95% nokill, stats being spun, numbers online probably
William Transell: In Boks letter to council, he said only small group disliked him,
30/32 supersivors, that's not a small group, all but two, 98%. We have been
attacked by animal rights terrorists. How effective can we be when we've cast our
vote of no confidence
Mirabelle Martinez: Officer Dancy wrote this speech,she couldn't come so I will be
saying it. "I'm one of 32 ACOs, Boks, Barth, Davis, all they have done is play a
numbers game, animals in our care in dangerous conditions. Boks said he'd make
the city nokill in five years, instead 37% increase in euth. He put a moratorium on
behavior related euth, why? He's flip flopped between warehousing to avoid euth
and euth to avoid warehousing. We euth only for behavior or medical, never for
time or space, just a number games. It doesn't help animals get out alive, but does
stroke the ego of ed boks. These games diminish quality of life for animals and
employees. Boks hoards and warehouses, shelters overcrowded, cramped, It's a
ticking timb bomb. He's on fast downward spiral out of control, 9/11 he and Davis
and Capt DeDeaux are only ones qualified if animal has behavior problem and can
be euth. It's an utterly ridiculous and pompous statement. Davis and Boks aren't
behavioral experts. They don't deal with animals , except cute cuddly ones for
Patricia Ott: 15 years, supervisor, EV shelter. I've never been to a comm meeting to
complain because of fear. Sometimes commission isn't fair, especially if Boks is
there. I don't want to get fired, no manual available, he tells the public that we're
wrong, demoralizing, no clear direction, plus one, minus one, we can't go over goal
or face reprimand, then he says it's only a tool, what if we get sick aniamls? hooters
for neuters, I was offended, flyer was in the shelter woman in bikini, working cats
program, Boks told me to, take feral cats and get acclimated to lapd stations. I told
him we can't support that, we can't have more than three animals at any address,
it's illegal,then he pulls me off of it. Myself and other acts, we do our own gardening,
because not in the budget, we are graded on appearance of shelter, how can we
do 95% nokill when we killed 100 kittens in a month? if we had spayneuter,
wouldn't have to do that.
Zine: We had this meeting at 6:30 so no duty schedule conflict. If you're on duty,
please fill out form....
Kathy Moony: aco, 29 years, I take care of database chameleon, statistics, numbers
are accurate but the interpretation of those numbers, maybe not. Nokill, it's an
impossibility, obviously, nokill numbers exclude animals sick, injured, behavior
unsuited, if you take them out, that's what he's using, no one can be nokill unless
they don't accept all animals that come in the door,
Zine: 100 dogs, 50 sick, injured, behv...then 50 adoptable. I had a personal
meeting with Boks months ago. I asked that question, all animals are included
when numbers are reported,
Zine: Who makes euth decision, those numbers are published? sick, injured..?
what is honest truth?when did you do all the numbers?
Kathy: 2-3 years.
Cardenas: Are you aware of any discrepencies not adding up?
Kathy: Raw numbers are accurate or very close.
Cardenas: I was at pr conference this morning. Boks said 15,000 euth'd. euth was
double before he got here, right? (Before he got here 19,000 cats/dogs killed, then
15,000 now we're back at 17,000)
Kathy: We are warehousing more animals. Makes big diff. Boks made decision to
change categories. I've been punished already, I work with Barth. She took action
against me, uncalled for, I feel I cut my own throat by coming up here, because of
what they've done to me, i'll be retiring early in five months. I can't stay now.
Daniel: Divide and conquer. Evaluations, i have no say in evaluations of my
underlings, only a supervisor who does not see them all the time like me. We have
no evacuation plan, 72 dogs in 14 kennels, Boks told him to keep them for 45 days,
plus one, minus one, not a tool, a monopoly of numbers, I've been retaliated
against, we should have 1 animal per cage, maybe 2, I have 126 dogs, 164 cats.
Pan Anna: Captain, grievance, situation, there was a reclassification of assignment,
Boks didn't respond, went to arbitration, we won our case, nothing was done, had
to go to superior court to enforce it. At the end of hands all meeting Boks said
everything kept confidential in this room. Later I overheard him say, gee we should
have tape recorded this one.
Zine: Anyone with anything positive to say about Boks?
Rita Gorman: Boks has brought us all together, very close.
Zine: Other than that. I want to make sure we had a fair hearing.
Rita Gorman: I got the job then had fear of losing it. I held onto it. I have to deal with
rescue people who are not the friendliest, customers that have issues. ACTs get it
from every angle. It doesn't help having a leader, he went off on one of our
supervisors in a medical unit, he doesn't give a crap about animals, these were ill
and injured animals.
Donald Lambley: act, volunteer, at mission shelter used as an annex, we get
evidence animals, kittens, young puppies, very light staff, 8 people. I took care of
210 animals by myself last week on the night shift, feeding shift, no vet techs after 6
Nancy Moriarty: captain. dept isn't ready for emergency. I related this to Boks and
executive staff. We lost emerg prep coordinator. The chain of command is not recog
by union or us. A female employee died at harbor without heart machine. 28 years.
Zine:Has mgmt ever put the dept in this position before?
Zine:Is this the worst?
Nancy: Yes. I was told not to provide instruction via email. Then he said he needed
staff to read his blog for instruction. Manual completed in 2001, It was online,
captain kramer was updating it,
Zine: Wold you say the dept is running on auto pilot?
Nancy: Running by employees, rescue groups and volunteers
Troy Boswell: (missed some). Permits is a sore spot, from elephants to puppy mills,
mgmt makes our staff go after people they find personally offensive, the changes to
circus permits reflects Boks personal feelings about circus animals. No one can
use elephants in LA now, SLA shelter is overcrowded, foreclosures, packs of
animals running loose,
Chris Kale: 8 years, SLA, lack of manual,emergency preparedness.
Leslie Corea: (didn't come up to speak)
Dr. Katie Rainey: former employee, ex chief of vets, posters of hooters in the
shelters, I was with the dept 2 years, little less, I resigned, Boks gave approval on
those posters, he said he didn't but he did. He said vegan vixens would be serving
food at grand opening ceremony, new shelter opening, gordon said not a good
idea after hooters, it didn't happen.
Zine: vegan vixens?
Katie: We had an out break of canine distemper, Boks said there's a cure, he said
open the clinic but it would threaten my license, he showed no regard for my
license, said we would prescribe drugs to adopters, we can't do it, not legal, I don't
have pharmacy license
Zine: Why did you leave?
Katie: I had a diff of opinion between GM in respect to infectious diseases. He
wanted us to foster animals with giardia, coccidia, scabies, if someone got ill from
those animals, it's not good. Under Boks, situation could arise that would place my
license in jeopardy. Please, include vet union in the upcoming meeting, look at
how many vets left during Boks, look at former employees, request my emails
between Boks and me, medical ethics, that's why I left. i was friends with dr.smith ex
head vet, Boks wanted people access to rabies area, not a good idea, I was with
public county health dept previously, Boks waved me off, he publicly embarrassed
me. He ridiculed me in front of staff. Ed chose wrong profession,he should be a
politician, he's good at not making the comment,but he'll use gestures , like waving
people off. I wrote a SOP (standards of operation), I wanted a manual for my staff to
follow, he said it was too long, Boks said he or knaan could defer a neuter surgery,
vets should make that decision, medical. I was told we were having a free
vaccinations and microchip event, no one told me, I heard about it from the Vet
Tech, An ACT would run it. You need a vet if rabies shot, Boks said "Rainey you are
getting dramatic again. plus one, minus one, just a quota system,
Cardenas: Plus one, minus one, figure based on previous year? not actual need in
treal time situation but making decision on something based on 12 months ago?
Katie: He would scold you if you went over number,
(someone else came up to explain plus one, minus one. Plus one, minus one
means that every day or month you must at least euthanize one fewer and adopt
Cardenas: What if it's sick? It doesn't count in euth category anyway, so what, they
are in sick category
Someone: He would hold us to that.
Cardenas: what if they got really sick ?
Someone: A vet had to decide to euth, write a report then we must respond.
Rainey: I got stuck with job when smith left, six turnover vets during two years, not
good pay compared to private practice, i enjoyed it, it was about serving a
community. my concern was working with someone who could jeopardize my
Zine: I recommend to continue hearing, listen to two employees, then general
called two employees, gone. 10:15, started at 6:30