On September 9th, attorneys acting for Concerned Dog Owners of California and funded through CDOC ACTION filed for a preliminary injunction against the City of Los Angeles asking that the City be enjoined from Enforcing any and all provisions of Los Angeles City Ordinance mandating the spay/neuter of any and all owned dogs and cats within Los Angeles City.
CDOC is suing the City of Los Angeles in Superior Court. In its filing the brief points out that the City Controller's own numbers, which assumes a much lower rate of dog ownership than the national average, says there are 500,000 unlicensed dogs in Los Angeles which would be subject to immediate sterilization on 10/1/08. Animal Services own records show that in 2007 there were 580 adoptable dogs euthanized in the City of Los Angeles, a city of 3,800,000 people. While we are all working toward a time when no adoptable dogs are euthanized, that number hardly justifies the wholesale sterilization of the dogs in the City of Los Angeles.
CDOC are using Ed's own words about so few adoptable dogs being euthanized, they are claiming the ordinance is too sweeping when essentially there is no problem.
Good going Ed. Unintended consequences of spin.
The hearing will be on Thursday, October 2.
In case you missed it, Dow Jones dropped 778 points today, losing 1.1 TRILLION dollars, five major banks failed in the US and England, and depositors are beginning to make runs on their savings in the banks. So many people have fled stocks to government securities money market funds, that the interest rate on Fed 3 month notes is close to zero.
Duke University finance Prof. Campbell Harvey predicts there could be 750 to 1,000 bank failures over the next six months.
Scarce credit also threatens other types of companies that are already struggling and desperately need capital, such as the Detroit automakers and some of the airlines.
Some have opined that the FDIC may not be able to honor their guaranteed insurance of $100,000 per customer per bank, and a new government agency may need to be created to keep it liquid.
Campbell Soup is the only stock that went up today, suggesting soup lines may open soon.
The Republicans are blaming Obama and the Democrats for not passing the bill, even though 62% of the House Republicans voted against it and 60% of Democrats voted for it.Lastly, the Chinese poisoned milk scare has spread to the chocolate industry. Cadbury is recalling its products with Chinese ingredients.
Don't expect too much attention will be paid to the Boks' Trial. Bring a noose anyway.
Zine's called Personnel Committee meeting regarding a review of Ed Boks' tenure as Animal Services GM will be on October 7, at 6 p.m. at the Van Nuys Civic Center.
Bring cameras, popcorn, nooses.
The Chinese know. Chinese corruption and tainted products are so wide spread that after the latest milk contamination scandal, the Chinese themselves are looking for products NOT made in China!
What a creepy country.
I have not forgotten about the Request for Public Records from Pierce about the 2005 ACTF investigation of alleged farm animal neglect. I have not. Dancy, Shapiro and the others think they are off the hook. They are not.
Ross Pool of LAAS promises me they will respond soon. At that time I will let the president of the Community College system know what is going on, including the results of the LAAS investigation and Pierce's absolutely ignoring my two requests.
Ryan Olshan has already contacted the Attorney General of California--Jerry Brown--about Mayeda's deep sixing his requests. I will do the same once Ross sends me more info regarding his investigation.
Your editorial asking readers to vote "no" on Prop 2 is logically faulty. Even you are not willing to stand by your proposition. You cite one study that indicates caged eggs are 25% cheaper than range eggs, and Prop 2 “would likely bolster the market for cheaper out-of-state eggs.” Likely?
This is speculation. Have you checked on what happened to the price of pigs and veal in Arizona, Oregon and Colorado after their laws were passed? Did pig and veal farmers go out of business? Did these farmers relocate to California or Kansas? You don’t have the slightest idea, do you?
You also speculate that the demand for free range eggs will not increase from 5% to 20% or even 50% if more readily available and marketed, for example, as “California Cageless, Guilt Free Eggs.” Consumers do not always choose the cheapest similar product; they already pay a premium for green power and green vehicles and the demand for both is increasing because marketing and conscience made green the way to go.
You outline how terribly chickens are treated, opine Prop 2 is not the way to go, but do not offer an alternative to stop the brutality. Not all laws should be judged on finances and jobs. There are often far more important reasons to support a bill, as in this case as a matter of conscience.
Guess what would have happened to the picketers if they brandished loaded firearms?
A Times editorial today starts by talking about the terrible conditions at current California egg farms, says the animals deserve better, then opines we should vote no on Prop 2.
The Times editorial says getting rid of tight cages will drive the price of California eggs up causing California egg farmers to leave the state and caged chicken eggs with be brought in from nearby states and nothing will be accomplished.
The editorial says several "nearby" states have passed similar measures regulating treatment of pigs and calves in Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Oregon, but eggs are different because the CA egg business is over $300,000,000 while the veal and pork industries are small.
It is pure speculation that the CA egg industry will be destroyed by Prop 2. The editorial gives what they believe as plausible reasons that it would happen, but no proof of any kind.
The Times says the animals deserve more, but Prop 2 is not the answer.
Please flood the Times with letters to the editor.
Though admirable, Proposition 2's ban on tight cages for hens could drive the egg business out of state.
The egg industry is rife with cruelty to animals. Millions of hens in California are kept in cages so small that every natural instinct is thwarted: They cannot perch, walk or spread their wings. On some farms, cages are stacked and hens on the bottom live in waste.
All creatures, even those bred to provide food, deserve to be treated humanely. That's the appeal of Proposition 2. It would require farmers to give chickens, pigs and veal calves room to turn around, walk or, in the case of chickens, stretch their wings. Over six years it phases out gestation crates for pigs -- contraptions that do not allow sows to stand -- and crates for veal calves. But California's pork industry is fairly small and the veal industry even smaller, so in practical terms, this ballot measure is really about the state's $337-million chicken business.
Similar measures regulating treatment of pigs and calves have passed in Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Oregon, but California is the test case for the provisions on hens. The Humane Society of America, which is sponsoring Proposition 2, argues that if Californians pass it, other states will follow. As much as we support the decent treatment of animals, we doubt that passage of the measure would start a national trend. In fact, we fear that it would have an unintended consequence: Because it only regulates eggs produced in California and not eggs that are sold here, it would likely bolster the market for cheaper out-of-state eggs produced where farmers have no similar bans on cages.
According to a University of California Agricultural Issues Center report, cage-free eggs are about 20% more expensive to produce and cost about 25% more to buy. There is a growing demand, but it is still small -- about 5% of all eggs nationally are produced by cage-free hens. So California eggs would become more expensive, and many consumers would simply buy the cheaper eggs laid by hens living in cramped conditions in neighboring states or in Mexico. As a result, we fear the result of Proposition 2's passage would not be better treatment of hens but merely the export of their mistreatment. We recommend a no vote.
Although Proposition 2 isn't the answer, the egg industry is due for an overhaul, and chicken farmers should take heed. Polls indicate that this measure has wide support. If it passes, that will be in part because the egg industry either has been oblivious to consumer concerns or recalcitrant about coming up with its own solutions. Proposition 2 is proof that if farmers insist on mistreating animals, people will act.
In the past, The League of Humane Voters has never asked for you to donate to the organization. Then as now, we have always asked you to write checks directly to animal friendly candidates who are running for office.
It is as clear as today’s news that elections make a tremendous difference in what happens as regards policy for the next four years. Money you donate today, if permitting the election of an animal friend, reverberates for good for an entire term of office. It permits full time staff paid for by the taxpayers to work on our issues and to frame our arguments. It gives us all a door and a voice in decision making. Our powerful opponents donate before elections for very simple reasons. It is effective in getting them what they want.
There is a committed advocate of the animals with a history going back of more that 20 years, first in West Hollywood and then in Sacramento, of writing and passing animal friendly legislation. And yet his lack of adequate money today may make it more difficult for him to win for the Los Angeles City Council next March. His name is Paul Koretz and he has an animal friendly resume that covers the prohibition of cat declawing to attempts to mandate spay and neuter of all pets sold in by pet stores.
I am asking everyone who receives this letter to dip into your bank account before the 30th of September and write a check to Paul Koretz for City Council. Small checks are as important as large ones. You can send that check directly to me (834 ¼ Tularosa Dr. LA 90026) or you can send it directly to Paul at (107 Kings Rd. LA CA 90048) . The advantage of sending it to me is that when I forward any checks I receive as a “bundle”, Paul he knows it comes from people looking for him to advance protections for the animals of Los Angeles. If you send it to me, it must arrive by September 29th so I can forward it on the 30th when it must be reported by his campaign. To lose an experienced legislator because he did not have enough early funds to garner other donors from outside our community would be a tragedy. Paul has stood up, often to ridicule on behalf of the animals. Now it is out turn to stand up for him.
There are times when donations I have made and time I have spent in campaigns has had disappointing results--that is not true of the support I have given Paul. His door has always been open to our ideas and our goals.
This is early, this seems inconsequential, when we are working so hard to pass Prop. 2 and make an impact upon a national election. But, believe me. There is nothing that you can do in the next four years that will have as big an impact on the lives of the dogs and cats inLos Angeles as helping elect Paul Koretz to City Council . The department, spay neuter programs, TNR, the LA Zoo, budget monies all are the purview of the LA City Council.
Our weak representation as players has often given us disappointing results. When we have had success in the past it has been because we have connected with members of the City Council. These are serious times that require wise, frugal and efficient decisions. Please give what you can. The maximum is $500 per person. There is no minimum.
Rich Mc Lellan MD,
League of Humane Voters
Paul’s website is www.PaulKoretz.com
I think we have found the LA animal community dream politician for Council then Mayor.
I recently received and email from Rich McClellan and Mike Bell supporting Paul Koretz for Council’s 5th District. I emailed Paul as follows:
1. I am an animal rescuer and rights activist. I am a single issue guy when it comes to Council--getting our shelters to No-Kill and getting rid of the current GM, Ed Boks, who is failing miserably.
Rich McClellan has recommended you as well--I see- as my friends Ken Genser and Kevin McKeown. Therefore I know you are a solid Democrat.
Let me ask you. Do you have any pets? How have you supported animals either at the state or City level previously? What is your view--if you know about it--the concept of no-kill shelters? With the resources LA gives the shelters, we should have done it last year--or close, yet it is slipping away. Can you make getting LA to no kill a campaign priority?
Most politicians shy away from this sort of commitment when on campaign > for fear of being branded as an animal nut, or some such.
Council Candidate Paul Koretz’s Response:
I have been branded as an animal nut for many years--my supporters back me either because of it or in spite it. I'll attach a list of some of the things I've done over last 20 years or so for animals. I have two rescue cats currently.I tried to create a no-kill shelter for Beverly Hills/West Hollywood. I got elected to the State Assembly and left the West Hollywood City Council-- I may have been able to make it happen otherwise. I certainly would lead the charge in Los Angeles.
The Council has already done some good things without anyone who really cares deeply about animals, like the spay/neuter ordinance. Imagine if they had someone who was really focused on animal issues.
I have represented half the Council District in the State Legislature, so I have a slight advantage of name identification. And I have several strong constituencies, like labor unions and environmentalists. But I have several opponents who are better financed and better-connected in the district's large Jewish community. This election may be close enough that if the animal welfare community raised money for me, spread the word to their friends (both those who care about animals and those that don't) and put together lists of pro-animal people in the district to mail to about my background, that could easily be the difference.
There have been very few elections where the animal vote decided the election. This could easily be the one.Anything you could do to help would be greatly appreciated.
I have not finished checking Paul out, but he appears to be exactly who the animal community needs to champion our interests and those of the animals. In the next post I will post a list of his background and animal related activities. It is quite impressive.
People, this appears to be your chance to back a highly animal friendly candidate for Council. Not that we don’t have animal friendly Councilmembers already, such as Cardenas, Zine and Rosendahl, but it appears in Koretz we may have a super champion.
Paul KoretzCandidate, LA City Council 5th District323-966-5942Please visit my website: paulkoretz.com
Ed Boks supposedly champions a citywide offical acceptance of TNR as City policy as the best way to compassionately deal with the feral and homeless cat population.
That policy is supposed to give colony managers what? Peace of mind and freedom from harassment? City help with S/N above and beyond what they get now? Insulation from complaining neighbors, where the LAAS will tell the complainants to stuff themselves, that it is City policy to do nothing?
Under that plan, colonies and their managers would become identified, and hence, accountable if a neighbor complains about cats, whether or not from that colony (there is no burden of proof-ever when it comes to cats), pooping on their lawn or elsewhere.
I have even had one good-hearted neighbor threaten to sue the city (Santa Monica) because they stated their daughter was alergic to fleas, and thus a public menace. The City caved and came after me despite the fact that I used Advantage on all but 2 of the 8 cats (I told them they all got it).
Under the proposed LA plan, the identified manager could be held responsible for every cat within 1/2 block, for every cat turd, fly, flea, rodent and dead bird in the area.
When there are complaints--and there always are complaints by someone in the neighborhood--the colony and its manager will be held responsible, and the manager subject to official demands such as recently made by Sergio Rios of the 84 year old woman: abandon the colony, stop feeding, stop providing medical care, just abandon them. They will be fine thank you.
Why in the world would any sane colony manager allow themself to be so identified by the City, which can and will come down hard on them at any time when it is the known policy of the department not to help, but terrorize or jail colony managers?
Lori Golden addressed that issue directly and indirectly to Boks several issues ago in Pet Press. I don't think Boks ever responded. Maybe she should ask again, or ask in an email and cc to everyone in the cat rescue community who are most impacted by present policy and future legislation.
Who are now always in the most trouble when it comes to cats? People who have feral cats on their property. They are identified; they can be given citations and given "immoral" and illegal demands to essentially ABANDON THE ANIMALS OF WHOM THEY HAVE BECOME LEGAL CARETAKERS.
Does Boks think we are nuts? At any time, given any neighbor complaint, a colony and its manager are at risk. Nothing Boks has said addresses the issue of what protections or services would colonies and colony managers gain under a policy of legalized, city-wide TNR that they are not getting now being anonymous?
Ed, we are not nuts.
Communication between Anthem/High Tech and myself re Vet Tech Program in Phoenix--It is disappearing. No wonder no one wanted to talk to me.
EMAIL FROM ANTHEM/HIGH TECH IN PHOENIX:
Thank you for contacting High-Tech Institute. Your email was forwarded to an HTI staff member and answered below. If you need additional information about the Schools and Colleges of High-Tech Institute, please visit us online at www.hightechinstitute.edu. For enrollment information, you may phone us toll-free at: 1-866-502-2627, and speak to a representative from our Admissions Department.
I understand you have a veterinary technology program, but I caanot find any information on your website.
I also called 602 279-9700 and was told no literature was available, nor the names of instructors or of clases.
I was told to leave my name and someone would contact me.
I asked for specifics about the program and was told you were not enrolling and therefore there was nothing to tell me.
I am quite confused therefore about the overview of the program you are offering. It is not listed on your website.
I received your email request from our Website. At this time we are no longer enrolling into our Veterinary Technology Program, that is why no information is available.
High-Tech Institute, Inc
This will serve as my one and only comment to your wildly inaccurate accusations (I will answer any questions you might have).
I owned All Care Cat Hospital from 5/98-9/07. In about July of '06 we made the difficult decision to sell the practice due to personal family issues (absolutely nothing to do with the practice---also absolutely none of your business). We also decided to move to Phoenix, in part due to those issues as well as my finding a job at Anthem College (which at that time was called High Tech Institute).
Unfortunately it took us an entire year to sell the hospital, during which time I was working in Phoenix part of the week and then at the hospital the rest of the week.
At points during that year, I also had relief vets working for me...each worse than the next. After an extremely hard year, I managed to sell the practice. That is why the letter to the clients is dated 9/07.
From 9/07-9/08 I worked full-time at the school. I can assure you that there really is a school, with 4 CVT instructors, 53 students (as of 9/12/08) and a great facility. The first students enrolled in 3/06. To date we have had 20 graduates. I am not sure who you talked to (or if in fact you actually even called the school), but maybe the confusion is over the fact that the school is not presently enrolling new students and won't be until the new year.
The memorandum with Maricopa shelter was signed in order for us to be able to have them bring some animals to the school to be spayed/neutered and have their teeth cleaned. Dr. Rodrigo Silva is the director of the shelter and over the past two years he and I did become friends.
Please note that Dr. Silva does NOT care for Ed Boks and actually tried to dissuade me from accepting the position here. I had NO prior knowledge of who Ed Boks was until I met him for the first time at my interview.
I have no idea why the other Dr's were not chosen for the position. To be honest I don't care. I am here now. I know what my strengths are and I know that I can be a force for positive change here. I will do my utmost to help this community and this department have the finest municipal animal care system it possibly can.
Lastly, you note that there are decidedly mixed reviews of me. While I am sure that there are some people who may not think highly of me, I am willing to bet my house that many, many, more thought highly of me and my wife. Please make sure that those negative views were of us and not the prior vet (Dr. Doss) or the relief vets.
I look forward to a time when this community will be able to put away its pettiness, immaturity and callous nature and start working together to help those that we all care about...the animals.
As I said, I will try to answer any questions you might have.
Jeremy Prupas, VMD
Thank you Jeremey for the clarification. The woman I called and spoke to at length said there were no classes or instructors listed. There was no brochure about the vet tech program that could be mailed to me, only a generic one about the college. You were still listed as the director, but no faculty. She said Anthem may start enrolling in two months, but as of now there was no program or instructors. One other person claimed they called the same number without response.
If you look at Anthem college's website there is no mention of a vet tech or other vet program. Nada.
If you look at the AVMA site, it only points to the college site, which has no information.
As I said, I have no vet expertise and can't tell a good one from a bad one except over a period of time. Bad reviews or good by clients mean almost nothing unless there are a lot of them. The only reviews I saw were of you and Middleton.
My whole life is cats, caring for them, loving them, managing colonies, TNR, etc., and LAAS has a horrible record in saving them. Some shelters, even large shelters, are saving 80% or more. They have better adoption and foster programs. The director of the San Francisco AC&C says they lose very few neonatals, that they have a large foster base.
All this stuff is analyzed as infinitum in 739 previous posts over the past 2.7 years.
You might note that I was a staunch defender of Boks the first year until I found out that the live save rate was down compared to the year before and that he has a very strained relation to truth, but a close one to spin.
Then there is the Mason case where Ed attacked a "hoarder" claiming his cats had distemper and they killed 25 kittens. Antech lab results came back negative but positive for garden varieties of URI. The cats were seized without legal process in front of TV cameras and dozens of City and County officials. Ed pilloried him calling him mentally ill. The cats were impounded for three months until a bunch of us help Mason get the cats adopted. Many were killed.
As I stated above, if you can do the job I'll stand by you 100% and then even more.
About when we will put away our pettiness, immaturity and callous nature, it sounds like you are putting it all on the rescue/humane community, when you have not taken a look at the sociopath who hired you and the constant lies we have heard over the past 2.7 years about what enormous success LAAS has in adoptions, his background, his successes, etc., even when the numbers didn't compute.
In March of 2007 Boks announced LAAS had its first No-Kill month ever, and in the same announcement said 700 cats and dogs had been euthanized.
A week ago over 100 employees, maybe more than that said Boks had to go. Not only employees, but there were many rescue community and volunteers also.
So I don't know who you are addressing your complaint towards but be aware of Boks, Jim Blackman, and our sleazy mayor who, despite over 2 years of complaints, made no effort to reign Boks in.
Take a look at the link to the video of the dozens of complainants that appeared before Council, but apparently only 4 or 5 were allowed to speak.
You have entered a community where there is a war and you are now part of it.
Thank you for replying. It was not necessary for you to reply, but thank you. I am inclined to believe you and I will call again and see if I can talk to anyone else. She (had a difficult name to remember) could not/did not refer me to anyone else to better comment on the program.
My "wild" speculations are based on the fact Boks never responds to my questioning. LAAS is a black box and you have to rattle it to get a response or even a defense.
It appears that Ed Boks has got another raise:
From a 98 page, September 5, 2008 City Inter-departmental report:
Edward Boks; code 9245; General Manager Department of Animal Services; $137,307 - $205,877; incumbent $181,071
So, Ed got a $16,000 raise? Why? Combat pay?
43. MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT FOR PROVIDING HAND-ON ANIMAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES – APPROVED
Approve Memorandum of Agreement between Anthem College School of Veterinary Technology and Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, for the purpose of providing hand-on animal educational opportunities and related facilities needed for training while under the supervision of school faculty.
This is the ONLY mention of the school with that exact name on the Internet.
I already mentioned what come up when the name of the school without quotes. Then there are many indirect and direct references to www.anthem.com and nothing is mentioned there because it is not an operational program.
I called their phone # this AM. 602-279-9700
It has no classes, no instructor, no students. The first students are supposed to be enrolling in 2 months or so, apparently after they find an instructor.
Prupas is listed as the director, but apparently of a non-existent program.
Therefore, what is the worth of an AVMA provisional accreditation of a non-existence program? What does that say about AVMA’s accreditation process?
Remember Boks said Prupas had spent the last 2 years guiding the school through accreditation, but Prupas’ goodbye letter to his clients in San Diego is dated September 28, 2007, which is less than a year.
Look at the AVMA listing for Anthem.
1515 E. Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(Jeremy Prupas, DVM - Director)
Associate in Science
Initial Accreditation-March 3, 2008
What is the value an an AVMA accreditation of a non-existent program? Since the MOA is dated March 29, 2008 and the provisional accreditation is dated March 3, 2008, it appears AVMA may have been influenced by MCACC agreement to provide educational opportunities for Anthem students once the program exists.
What kind of accrediting group would give accreditation to a non-existent program?
They have a provisional accreditation for a non-existent program.
I would like someone to interview Prupas. He may be the greatest cat vet in California, but I would like independent verification. I would love to sign onto his team. But my question remains, why did Boks lie about his appointment? Why did not Boks select one the 5-6 vets in-house as Chief vet as opposed to finding one associated with Boks’ old employer, the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control?
I just got an email from Councilmember Zine stating the Prupas hiring will be investigated. I told Zine that the most important thing is not Boks' made up history and whatever led to that deception, but whether Prupas is indeed a great vet who can "help the department to go to the next step."
If Prupas has the capability to make very substantial changes, he should be given a green light. However, the apparent irregularities in his hiring present a credibility problem hanging over his appointment.
Viewing client evaluations of vets rated on the Internet is usually not helpful. However, one review did state he did perform a successful feline kidney transplant. Other reviews were either glowing or critical. People usually don't comment unless they are very pleased or displeased.
According to Boks' press release about the New Chief Vet, Jeremy Prupas:
"For the past 2 years, Dr. Prupas served as Program Director for Anthem College School of Veterinary Technology in Phoenix, AZ, where he took over a troubled program and successfully guided it through AVMA accreditation."
However, doing a google on Anthem College School of Veterinary Technology produces almost nothing. There are a total of seven non-repeating references and these all point to Anthem's website, which says nothing about a veterinary program, classes, instructors, etc. It appears to be non-existent school except as a website.
So who or what did Prupas guide through an accreditation process?
Doing an advanced google search on Anthem's own website finds no mention of veterinary or veterinarian. Anthem appears to be part of a conglomeration of vocational schools, apparently under one parent organization, that appear to be start-up online colleges. No facilities are mentioned, no classes.
One Internet reference provides the following review:
Anthem College Online offers online Associate's and Bachelor's Degrees in: Business and Management; Criminal Justice; Technology; Healthcare
Anthem's online platform is an engaging interactive, multimedia learning environment that incorporates text, video, sound, imagery and instructional narration. It is designed to accommodate the personal learning styles of every student in order to enhance participation, understanding and retention.
Programs are structured to allow working adults to incorporate online learning into their busy schedules. Students can log on at any hour, stop a session and pick up where they left off.
Each student at Anthem College Online is assigned a team of advisers committed to their personal academic and career success.
This sounds surprisingly like Pierce College's barely existent vet program that offers AA programs for pre-vets, but lacking Pierce's actual physical presence and campus, and instructors that actually teach a class here and their.
The organization that "accredited" Anthem is a relatively unknown group, AVMA, not like the Western Regional that did UCLA and all other schools regarded as accredited. In fact, AVMA (www.avma.org) seems to focus on vet tech programs, not veterinarians.
If the Anthem program exists at all, it has a "Provisional Accreditation," defind by AVMA as:
Provisional Accreditation – Provisional accreditation is granted to new programs in veterinary technology where students have not completed the entire curriculum and/or the programs have not produced sufficient numbers of graduates to adequately assess outcomes. Programs may remain on provisional accreditation for a period not to exceed five years.
That is, there are no graduating students from that program.
Apparently Prupas left San Diego under a cloud, at least according to his own private practice website still up on the Internet:
Also, according to the Cal State vet board he is not licensed to practice in CA. Maybe let his license here lapse and can gett it reinstated immediately.
My Comment: Many prominent professionals in their own fields have almost no Internet presence. Laking an Internet identity only means you don't have much of a paper trail, and is no reflection on competence or compassion.
I just wonder why Boks chose Prupas over the other 5-6 vets already here.
I am hoping Prupas is a good-guy and highly competent feline-oriented veterinary who can bring more cats out alive from isolation. If he does, I will be his greatest supporter.
And I hope his wife--if they are still together--can get a good job with some vet local practice.
Hopefully it will not be one with whom LAAS contracts, which would be Palin-like cronyism.Jeremy: Please be good. We need a good cat vet, smart and with compassion.
New York Times Article on Palin:
Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes
This article is by Jo Becker, Peter S. Goodman and Michael Powell.
WASILLA, Alaska — Gov. Sarah Palin lives by the maxim that all politics is local, not to mention personal.
So when there was a vacancy at the top of the State Division of Agriculture, she appointed a high school classmate, Franci Havemeister, to the $95,000-a-year directorship. A former real estate agent, Ms. Havemeister cited her childhood love of cows as a qualification for running the roughly $2 million agency.
Ms. Havemeister was one of at least five schoolmates Ms. Palin hired, often at salaries far exceeding their private sector wages.
When Ms. Palin had to cut her first state budget, she avoided the legion of frustrated legislators and mayors. Instead, she huddled with her budget director and her husband, Todd, an oil field worker who is not a state employee, and vetoed millions of dollars of legislative projects.
And four months ago, a Wasilla blogger, Sherry Whitstine, who chronicles the governor’s career with an astringent eye, answered her phone to hear an assistant to the governor on the line, she said.
“You should be ashamed!” Ivy Frye, the assistant, told her. “Stop blogging. Stop blogging right now!”
Ms. Palin walks the national stage as a small-town foe of “good old boy” politics and a champion of ethics reform. The charismatic 44-year-old governor draws enthusiastic audiences and high approval ratings. And as the Republican vice-presidential nominee, she points to her management experience while deriding her Democratic rivals, Senators Barack Obama and Joseph R. Biden Jr., as speechmakers who never have run anything.
But an examination of her swift rise and record as mayor of Wasilla and then governor finds that her visceral style and penchant for attacking critics — she sometimes calls local opponents “haters” — contrasts with her carefully crafted public image.
Throughout her political career, she has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and sometimes blurred the line between government and personal grievance, according to a review of public records and interviews with 60 Republican and Democratic legislators and local officials.
Still, Ms. Palin has many supporters. As a two-term mayor she paved roads and built an ice rink, and as governor she has pushed through higher taxes on the oil companies that dominate one-third of the state’s economy. She stirs deep emotions. In Wasilla, many residents display unflagging affection, cheering “our Sarah” and hissing at her critics.
“She is bright and has unfailing political instincts,” said Steve Haycox, a history professor at the University of Alaska. “She taps very directly into anxieties about the economic future.”
“But,” he added, “her governing style raises a lot of hard questions.”
Ms. Palin declined to grant an interview for this article. The McCain-Palin campaign responded to some questions on her behalf and that of her husband, while referring others to the governor’s spokespeople, who did not respond.
Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell said Ms. Palin had conducted an accessible and effective administration in the public’s interest. “Everything she does is for the ordinary working people of Alaska,” he said.
In Wasilla, a builder said he complained to Mayor Palin when the city attorney put a stop-work order on his housing project. She responded, he said, by engineering the attorney’s firing.
Interviews show that Ms. Palin runs an administration that puts a premium on loyalty and secrecy. The governor and her top officials sometimes use personal e-mail accounts for state business; dozens of e-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that her staff members studied whether that could allow them to circumvent subpoenas seeking public records.
Rick Steiner, a University of Alaska professor, sought the e-mail messages of state scientists who had examined the effect of global warming on polar bears. (Ms. Palin said the scientists had found no ill effects, and she has sued the federal government to block the listing of the bears as endangered.) An administration official told Mr. Steiner that his request would cost $468,784 to process.
When Mr. Steiner finally obtained the e-mail messages — through a federal records request — he discovered that state scientists had in fact agreed that the bears were in danger, records show.
“Their secrecy is off the charts,” Mr. Steiner said.
State legislators are investigating accusations that Ms. Palin and her husband pressured officials to fire a state trooper who had gone through a messy divorce with her sister, charges that she denies. But interviews make clear that the Palins draw few distinctions between the personal and the political.
Last summer State Representative John Harris, the Republican speaker of the House, picked up his phone and heard Mr. Palin’s voice. The governor’s husband sounded edgy. He said he was unhappy that Mr. Harris had hired John Bitney as his chief of staff, the speaker recalled. Mr. Bitney was a high school classmate of the Palins and had worked for Ms. Palin. But she fired Mr. Bitney after learning that he had fallen in love with another longtime friend.
“I understood from the call that Todd wasn’t happy with me hiring John and he’d like to see him not there,” Mr. Harris said.
“The Palin family gets upset at personal issues,” he added. “And at our level, they want to strike back.”
Through a campaign spokesman, Mr. Palin said he “did not recall” referring to Mr. Bitney in the conversation.
Laura Chase, the campaign manager during Ms. Palin’s first run for mayor in 1996, recalled the night the two women chatted about her ambitions.
“I said, ‘You know, Sarah, within 10 years you could be governor,’ ” Ms. Chase recalled. “She replied, ‘I want to be president.’ ”
Ms. Palin grew up in Wasilla, an old fur trader’s outpost and now a fast-growing exurb of Anchorage. The town sits in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, edged by jagged mountains and birch forests. In the 1930s, the Roosevelt administration took farmers from the Dust Bowl area and resettled them here; their Democratic allegiances defined the valley for half a century.
In the past three decades, socially conservative Oklahomans and Texans have flocked north to the oil fields of Alaska. They filled evangelical churches around Wasilla and revived the Republican Party. Many of these working-class residents formed the electoral backbone for Ms. Palin, who ran for mayor on a platform of gun rights, opposition to abortion and the ouster of the “complacent” old guard.
After winning the mayoral election in 1996, Ms. Palin presided over a city rapidly outgrowing itself. Septic tanks had begun to pollute lakes, and residential lots were carved willy-nilly out of the woods. She passed road and sewer bonds, cut property taxes but raised the sales tax.
And, her supporters say, she cleaned out the municipal closet, firing veteran officials to make way for her own team. “She had an agenda for change and for doing things differently,” said Judy Patrick, a City Council member at the time.
But careers were turned upside down. The mayor quickly fired the town’s museum director, John Cooper. Later, she sent an aide to the museum to talk to the three remaining employees. “He told us they only wanted two,” recalled Esther West, one of the three, “and we had to pick who was going to be laid off.” The three quit as one.
Ms. Palin cited budget difficulties for the museum cuts. Mr. Cooper thought differently, saying the museum had become a microcosm of class and cultural conflicts in town. “It represented that the town was becoming more progressive, and they didn’t want that,” he said.
Days later, Mr. Cooper recalled, a vocal conservative, Steve Stoll, sidled up to him. Mr. Stoll had supported Ms. Palin and had a long-running feud with Mr. Cooper. “He said: ‘Gotcha, Cooper,’ ” Mr. Cooper said.
Mr. Stoll did not recall that conversation, although he said he supported Ms. Palin’s campaign and was pleased when she fired Mr. Cooper.
In 1997, Ms. Palin fired the longtime city attorney, Richard Deuser, after he issued the stop-work order on a home being built by Don Showers, another of her campaign supporters.
Your attorney, Mr. Showers told Ms. Palin, is costing me lots of money.
“She told me she’d like to see him fired,” Mr. Showers recalled. “But she couldn’t do it herself because the City Council hires the city attorney.” Ms. Palin told him to write the council members to complain.
Meanwhile, Ms. Palin pushed the issue from the inside. “She started the ball rolling,” said Ms. Patrick, who also favored the firing. Mr. Deuser was soon replaced by Ken Jacobus, then the State Republican Party’s general counsel.
“Professionals were either forced out or fired,” Mr. Deuser said.
Ms. Palin ordered city employees not to talk to the press. And she used city money to buy a white Suburban for the mayor’s use — employees sarcastically called it the mayor-mobile.
The new mayor also tended carefully to her evangelical base. She appointed a pastor to the town planning board. And she began to eye the library. For years, social conservatives had pressed the library director to remove books they considered immoral.
Ms. Palin chose Talis Colberg, a borough assemblyman from the Matanuska valley, as her attorney general, provoking a bewildered question from the legal community: “Who?” Mr. Colberg, who did not return calls, moved from a one-room building in the valley to one of the most powerful offices in the state, supervising some 500 people.
“I called him and asked, ‘Do you know how to supervise people?’ ” said a family friend, Kathy Wells. “He said, ‘No, but I think I’ll get some help.’ ”
The Wasilla High School yearbook archive now doubles as a veritable directory of state government. Ms. Palin appointed Mr. Bitney, her former junior high school band-mate, as her legislative director and chose another classmate, Joe Austerman, to manage the economic development office for $82,908 a year. Mr. Austerman had established an Alaska franchise for Mailboxes Etc.
To her supporters — and with an 80 percent approval rating, she has plenty — Ms. Palin has lifted Alaska out of a mire of corruption. She gained the passage of a bill that tightens the rules covering lobbyists. And she rewrote the tax code to capture a greater share of oil and gas sale proceeds.
“Does anybody doubt that she’s a tough negotiator?” said State Representative Carl Gatto, Republican of Palmer.
Yet recent controversy has marred Ms. Palin’s reform credentials. In addition to the trooper investigation, lawmakers in April accused her of improperly culling thousands of e-mail addresses from a state database for a mass mailing to rally support for a policy initiative.
While Ms. Palin took office promising a more open government, her administration has battled to keep information secret. Her inner circle discussed the benefit of using private e-mail addresses. An assistant told her it appeared that such e-mail messages sent to a private address on a “personal device” like a BlackBerry “would be confidential and not subject to subpoena.”
THERE IS MUCH MORE, BUT TOO MUCH FOR THIS BLOG. GO TO THE N.Y. TIMES BLOG LINK AT THE TOP OF THIS POST.
I have changed my mind. There has been a quantum leap in his lying recently, and then, just for the sake of becoming president, he chooses Palin to be the V.P., with a good chance of becoming the president.` He knows Palin has no business even visiting Washignton, let alone working in the White House.
It is obvious the photo was made in fun, but if you read about Palin and her friends, you realize this is who they truly think thay are.
Be afraid; be very afraid.
Maybe we can emigrate to Canada or Ireland, or France, or...
I am dismayed by the total blinders that Ed is using to focus his efforts to achieve no kill. He does not see or care about the offers of effort and expertise by contributers who are waiting to help him in the L.A. community. He seems to be doing work within a fear management style. Not trusting anyone. My contacts with him have been stopped, by him, so I have no insight as to what is going on or if LAAS' is targeting problem areas as I suggested.
I was going to send a scathing email to Ed Boks about his response to his comments by an anonymous complainant regarding a rescue seminar, but I realize he only hears himself.
I will not communicate with him unless he outlines a positive process for achieving concise and consistent communications that will have results. After I voiced my willingness to help, I thought he was intent on doing the right thing for the animals. I now realize that he is only interested in Ed Boks, not the animals and people who work for him that can do the most about stopping the killing of unwanted animals.
Ed, I will always be totally committed to stopping the killing of animals in animal shelters. I have done my best to offer assistance to LAAS, but unless the attitude, which we have all noted as being the problem, changes nothing will change. The staff seems ready to make the change, but Boks management style is now clearly in the way.
Well, I can understand Boks fear management style.
Boks blames foreclosures as the cause for the increase in impounds. Many of us doubt that is the reason. In NYC there has been only a very slight increase in impounds, and that is only with dogs. Beside that, euthanasia is down.
I talked to an undisclosed member of the rescue community who wanted to remain anonymous for some reason, when impounds were beginning to climb. His response was that when you open new shelters, you expand capacity, and all the numbers will increase: impounds, adoptions and killing.
At the time I did not believe him, but it seems obvious it is true. People see the new, bright buildings, Boks talks about being the biggest adoption agency in the known universe, so naturally people feel less guilty relinquishing (abandoning) an animal to the shelter. Having more animals with a larger number of employees, in spic and span new facilities generates more adoptions. However, even if adoptions increase in the same percentage as before, more animals will be killed for space.
The only short term solution is to massively increase the rate of adoptions to offset the 20-30% increase in impounds.
To give you an idea of what I am talking about, let us say a system impounds annually 10,000 animals and adopts out 6,000, and kills 4,000.
Suppose then you double the size of the system and impounds rise to 20,000. If you adopt out the same percentage, 60%, 12,000 will leave alive and killing will increase to 8,000.
That is, killing doubled and so did adoptions. This makes the shelter look bad because killing has doubled. No one looks at adoptions.
To just hold even with the kill numbers, the shelter would have to adopt out an extra 4,000 animals, or 80% adoptions. An adoption rate of 80% is approaching No-kill, yet we are killing as many animals as before the new shelter was built.
That is, if you build new shelters, they will come, both abandoners and adopters.
Boks press release:
Dr. Jeremy Prupas, VMD has accepted the position of Chief Veterinarian for the Department and is scheduled to start Monday, September 15th.
Following veterinary school, Dr. Prupas served as an associate veterinarian in Stamford, CT before moving to San Diego where he owned and operated his own practice. For the past 2 years, Dr. Prupas served as Program Director for Anthem College School of Veterinary Technology in Phoenix, AZ, where he took over a troubled program and successfully guided it through AVMA accreditation.
Dr. Prupas will replace Dr. Steven Feldman, DVM, who has served as Acting Chief Veterinarian for over a year. Dr. Feldman recently promoted to a Veterinarian III position and will serve as Dr. Prupas’s second in command.
“Dr. Feldman helped rebuild the Department’s medical program over the past year,” said Ed Boks, general manager of the Department, “making it the finest municipal veterinary shelter program in the United States. Our anticipation is that under the capable leadership of Dr. Prupas and Dr. Feldman, with the support of our extraordinary team of veterinarians, we will now be able to take the program to the next level.”
This guy sounds very capable, and he specialized in cats. I love him already. Also, his San Diego practice was located about a mile from where I used to live in La Jolla. Why on earth would any rational human being leave the land of endless Spring to move to Phoenix?
A reality check. Boks says Feldman served as Acting Chief Vet for over a year. That is true to an extent, but it also true that until this appointment Dr. Feldman was the actual Chief Vet according to various documents I listed in my August 22 and 25 posts.
Far be it from me to defend Dr. Feldman just because he used to be my own vet, but Boks says: "Dr. Feldman helped rebuild the Department’s medical program over the past year, making it the finest municipal veterinary shelter program in the United States."
One would want to know why Boks replaced someone who made LAAS "the finest municipal veterinary program in the United States."
We'll see. I hope for the best. We'll watch what happens to the Died in Shelter and euth numbers. I truly hope to see the cat euth figures go down.
From Ryan Olshan:
In a response I received today for a public record request requesting a copy of the Department of Animal Care and Control's multi-year department improvement program, which was established in 2001, County replied, "The Department has no specific records responsive to your request for '[c]opy of the Departments multi-year department improvement program, which was established in 2001.'"
In Marcia Mayeda's press release dated August 12, 2008, she stated, "The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control today announced it is entering into its third phase of a multi-year department improvement program, established in 2001, to improve the effectiveness of the nation's largest animal care and control agency."
How can the Department be entering into the third phase of a program that they've admitted there's no record of it? It looks like Mayeda lied to the press and the public.
At least Ross Pool from LAAS is talking to me about the Pierce investigation and I expect a response soon, which I will send to the heads of Pierce as well as the entire community college system. I also plan on photgraphing the farm animals there and we can see if they try to take the camera away from me.
Really, they thought the storm would blow over, did they?
By Dana Bartholomew, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 09/10/2008 04:31:19 PM PDT
In an unprecedented show of no-confidence, Los Angeles animal control employees Tuesday called for the resignation of the city's seventh animal shelter manager in 10 years, citing mismanagement and a disregard for employees, animals and public safety.
Animal control employees packed City Hall to call for the heads of Ed Boks, general manager of the Department of Animal Services, and his assistant, Linda Barth.
The employees also filed a petition signed by half the department demanding Boks and Barth resign.
"For some time now, we have expressed a number of concerns about the department regarding public safety, animal welfare, employee safety, and last but not least, the services to the people of Los Angeles," Victor Gordo, chief counsel for the union that represents shelter supervisors, told the City Council.
"We're concerned about the warehousing of animals, lack of food and care for the animals, no viable law enforcement plan, no viable adoption program.
"The organization as a whole is in chaos."
Boks, who answers directly to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, did not return calls seeking comment. A spokeswoman for the mayor also didn't return calls.
Boks, a former minister, was hired by Villaraigosa in January 2006 to curtail shelter-animal killings, which now stand at roughly 15,000 a year.
"Serving as the general manager of L.A. Animal Services is a difficult job, particularly when personally criticized by anonymous mudslingers," Boks replied on his blog last month to an anonymous critic. "However, every effort I make is dedicated to doing the best job I can for the city and the animals in my care."
But critics said Boks has overfilled the city's expanded city shelter system - designed for up to two dogs per kennel - with up to six.
As a result, critics say dogs and cats attack one another, get sick and must ultimately be put down. This year, euthanasia is up 37 percent, according to Boks' blog on the Animal Services Department Web site.
"Boks and Barth fluctuate between two extremes - warehousing or killing," animal control Officer Stacey Dancy of the East Valley Shelter told the council. "They use warehousing to placate those against euthanasia, and when the shelter becomes packed, they blame those who are against warehousing for the euthanasia.
"We have had enough illusions, charades and distrust."
In addition, employees say staffing of field officers has been cut to the bone, leaving areas like the San Fernando Valley with just two officers to patrol about 350 square miles. As a result, more animals now roam the streets.
An estimated 60 uniformed animal control employees filled half the council chambers Tuesday, joining animal welfare groups in a mutual alliance of support.
The petition to remove Boks and his assistant was signed by 30 of 32 supervisors, 31 of 64 animal control officers and 74 of 152 animal care technicians.
Some said it was too early to tell if the latest salvo against Boks would cost him his job.
Five council members called Tuesday for a full public hearing on employee and citizen complaints. Councilman Dennis Zine filed a motion for a hearing in the Personnel Committee, expected within two months.
"I've had my issues with Boks' management activities and the shelters that were ill-equipped to maintain custody of the animals," Zine said. "I believe these employees' concerns have legitimacy."
Zine emphasized he would not accept any retribution against shelter workers as a result of the petition.
Six weeks ago, Councilman Tony Cardenas formally requested Boks answer why six of the city's eight spay-neuter clinics sit vacant.
In addition, he asked about the feasibility of outsourcing the volunteer program at East Valley Shelter to replace a city program in complete disarray.
He said Boks has failed to cooperate with any of his motions.
"The buck stops with Boks," said Cardenas, a leading advocate for city animal welfare programs. "I'm frustrated that, as a councilman and policymaker, I am not getting the kind of response we need."
"It frustrates the council, it frustrates the workers, and it certainly gets me upset."
Boks, who had claimed to lower animal deaths as head dogcatcher in greater Phoenix and New York City, was hired to replace Guerdon Stuckey, fired after a storm of protest by animal welfare activists.
The fifth general manager in five years, he aimed to boost the beleaguered department and fulfill a "no kill" mandate by increasing adoptions and reaching out to rescue groups.
But unlike a long string of embattled predecessors, Boks took no quarter from critics. He fired up a blog. He hit the radio.
Then he soon became mired in one embarrassing controversy after another, from a proposed "Hooters for Neuters" bikini benefit to a pit-bull academy by ex-convicts.
While Boks has reduced euthanasia, critics said he has deceived the city by claiming a 95 percent "no kill" rate while lumping healthy animals in sick or unruly categories, killing 17,400 dogs and cats in the fiscal year ending in July. During the same period, 1,100 animals died in overcrowded shelters.
"Boks is warehousing pets because of the no-kill mandate," said former Animal Services Commissioner Laura Beth Heisen. "But the warehousing leads to cage craziness, and passing diseases, and more animals are killed because they have become hurt or sick."
Jennifer Pryor, who founded a rescue group with her late husband and comedian Richard Pryor, said the nation's second-largest city deserves better.
"The rescue community will not tolerate the inhumane conditions for which these dogs are held," said Pryor, of Encino. "It's warehouse or kill. It's horrible."
City shelter workers cited a litany of complaints - from a lack of viable adoption programs to no leash enforcement - in asking for a new Animal Services leader.
"We've waited too long to speak out while Mr. Boks is in office," said Jacob Miller, an animal care technician at East Valley Shelter, who joined the throng at City Hall. "We need a new person at the top to create a new program, new spay-neuter outreach and ... to create a humane Los Angeles."
This is the video of the complete Council complaint from Monday.
Scroll to minute 28 of the video.
Alarcon: Thank you for shining a bright light on this.
Rosendahl: Bless you for having the courage to speak up.
Our soon to be Vice President (?) Sarah Palin sharing her kill with her daughter.
She could be soon unless you help out.
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
Of course you have noticed all the cat photos on the right.
I do a lot of pet and animal photography. I have thousands of photos of Meerkats, pelicans, coyotes, tigers, deer, elk, fish, egrets, etc., but especially of cats, from my own, to neighbors, rescues and ferals.
Dog pet photos are easier because dogs pose better. Candid shots of dogs require more time, because they take more time before they ignore the photographer and become themselves.
Cats are harder, because although you can get them to pose to a degree, much more depends on setting the environment, the lighting and fabric/background for colors, and so much depends on how the cat moves, sleeps or yawns, which requires time. Cats are far more photogenic when not posed.
I photograph political events and politicians too. Politicians are easy to photograph because they are always posing even when they think no one is watching.Digital is fine, especially if you have a quality digital SLR camera, but film is better generally for the color and higher definition. The film used too is important for color and resolution.
Some of my rescue cat photos cat be found in the slideshow at: http://www.suncities4paws.blogspot.com/
You don't want to use a highly saturated film like one would use for nature shots, nor film designed for human color portraits that are designed for skin tones.
A fast lens helps too because you can leave the background and foreground unfocused while leaving the eyes and face sharp, giving the photo a 3-D look.
All in all, pet photography is an art form like any other visual expression.
I just developed a two-year old roll of film and found some wonderful kitten photos.
Click to enlarge
We should have done this eight years ago, but I suggest that we begin organizing a Jonestown style Kool Aid party if McCain and Palin win.
Polls now indicate not only do they have a good chance of winning, but the Republicans may save 10 or more Senate seats they had already conceded as lost.
I would also mention that Obama's site and platform mention NOTHING about animals except for supporting hunters' rights to hunt.
Last chance folks. Last chance for you to be heard before the axe falls. If we do not make an effort to be heard now to support the lesser of two evils (when it comes to animal rights and welfare), it will be many years before we are heard.
Mayor Tony has no problem ignoring us, employees, the unions, and the public when it comes to getting rid of Boks. That is how we are now and will be treated nationally.
Victor Gordo addressed the Council and stated that resources are an issue. There are 2 or 3 officers for North Central, 1 to 2 for South Central, 1 for Harbor, 1 for West Valley, and 1 to 2 for East Valley. He mentioned Laura Chick's audit, lack of food and proper medical care at the shelters, and the lack of a viable adoption program. The organization at the shelter is in chaos.
Angela Hooks, an Animal Control Officer with the Department of Animal Services, spoke next. She read a letter from someone that indicated they were not there to read the letter themselves because they are concerned that Boks will retaliate. She continues by describing Boks as "smooth talking" but not capable of implementing No-Kill. She addresses the fact that there are six (6) spay/neuter clinics and they are not using ANY of these clinics. Why? Boks continues to make false promises, refuses owner surrenders (with limited shelter hours of operation), and recklessly continues to blog posts that the City attorney has had to request for removal. There is no accountability at the shelters. She informed the Council that Boks blames City Council for their bad budget as a major problem at the shelters rather than accepting responsibility.
Stacey Dancy, an East Valley employee, said she represented the rescue community (I saw her say on the video she representted the volunteers)
She indicated that there would have been more people at today's meeting. However, many people have chosen not to attend for fear of retribution by Ed Boks. She stated that Boks is not concerned about "being good" but rather more concerned about "looking good." He continues to make false claims of success, continues warehousing animals, and is not on the right path. Boks and Barth have not found solutions.
Laura Beth Heisen spoke next. She is a government attorney. She stated that "We are united and we are standing together." She addressed budget issues, the $19mil shelter that was built but is "still" not open, the six (6) spay/neuter clinics that sit unused, the two (2) recent audits by Laura Chick that indicate the horrible situation at shelters. She also mentioned Boks' promotion of his Hooters campaign and the Painted Elephant fiasco. Heisen addressed the liability of Boks' "pit bull academy" and informed that Boks blames others for his lack of results. She continues by advising that euthanasia is up.
Phyllis Daugherty came to the podium to inform that "The employes here today at the hearing are not asking for their jobs. They are here from their hearts." She indicated that Boks was hired "to make the City look good as if it is No-Kill." She stated that you can't keep fight-trained dogs in the same cages with goldens and other breeds. Additionally, old and ill dogs that are brought to the shelter to be put down are actually held and, therefore, are suffering longer. She pointed out to Council that the best management team is the shelter workers themselves and they are not being listened to by the City. She concludes by stating that "We could have the finest animal control in the country. Not No-Kill but more humane for the animals and for the employees."
Next, several Council members then spoke in response to public comments made today.
Council Member Zine rose to state that they "hear" the people that are there today. He is going to recommend that this matter goes to the Personnel Committee for a full public hearing. Additionally, "if" there is any retaliation occurring, he requests that it be reported to him and to his Committee immediately.
Alarcon commended the employees for stepping forward. He wanted to assure everyone present that he will work with Zine and Cardenas with the goal of establishing No-Kill in the City.
Rosendahl seconded Zine's motion. He said "Bless you for coming forward today" and then informed everyone present that he is an animal lover and just got a couple of shelter kittens recently.
Cardenas also rose to thank everyone for coming forward and stated that he is on the Personnel Committee and looks forward to hearing all sides of the matter.
Greuel informed everyone that "We are listening" and she hopes to improve conditions and face the challenges.
Garcetti advised that Zine will introduce a motion and they will let everyone know when the matter is on the Personnel Committee.
After Garcetti spoke, there was another woman (at the Van Nuys location) that addressed the Council. Her name is Lisa Goldberg. She discussed a horrendous animal cruelty complaint that had been reported recently. She then informed Council that Boks never conducted any investigation and even returned the rescuer's New Hope license to her. She informed that Greuel has the complete package of information on this complaint for others to view.
Stacy Dancey represents the recue community? Why not say she represent Pierce College where she is a student, or is a LAAS employee?
After two years of writing fluff pieces about Boks and Animal Services, LA Times hack writer Carla Hall wrote this morning about the letter signed by over half of the LAAS employees and presented to mayor Tony this past March, asking him to fire Boks. Of course, for his own unexpressed reasons, Tony ignored the letter.
Today the letter was presented to Council.
I will post a video of the presentation when I get a copy.
Zine said he'll make motion to the personnel committee to fully investigate the situation. Rosendthal seconded. Cardenas said he's on committee and is for investigation.
The heads of both unions were there.
Employees really gave it to Boks. Said first time they all hated a GM.
He's doing a horrible job. They accused him of lying about the numbers, and increased died in shelter numbers.
From Carla, the LA Times hack, Hall:
L.A. animal shelter workers turn to City Council in push to oust manager
Unions representing L.A. Animal Services workers argue that Ed Boks is leaving shelters overcrowded and animals in danger as a result of a drive to cut euthanasia rates.
By Carla Hall, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 9, 2008
Union representatives for Los Angeles animal shelter workers plan to give the City Council a petition today demanding the dismissal of general manager Ed Boks and assistant general manager Linda Barth.
The vote of no confidence, as the petition is called, was signed by more than half of L.A. Animal Services employees and presented to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's office in March. Boks answers directly to the mayor.
The petition was signed by several groups of employees who make up the majority of shelter manpower: 30 of 32 animal care supervisors, represented by Laborers' International Union of North America Local 777, and 105 of 216 animal control officers and animal care technicians represented by Service Employees International Union Local 721. The unions do not represent shelter clerical workers or registered veterinary technicians, though some of those workers provided additional signatures.
But after several meetings with the mayor's staff, union officials and shelter workers who helped organize the petition effort said they were dissatisfied with the response. So they decided to take their cause to council members even though they have no direct power over Boks.
"Employees are fed up," said Keith Kramer, manager of the West Valley animal shelter and executive board member of the laborers' union's Los Angeles chapter. "We've given the mayor's office every opportunity to do something and they haven't. We're hoping the City Council can convince the mayor's office to act."
Running the city's system of six shelters has never been an easy task. Boks' predecessors had their share of run-ins with critics. In his three years in Los Angeles, Boks has frequently bumped heads with activists, some Los Angeles Board of Animal Services commissioners, and some City Council members. Now he's facing employees who say he has sacrificed the health and safety of shelter animals and workers to promote the system as one that is lowering its kill rate.
Achieving a so-called no-kill policy for healthy animals is the Holy Grail of municipal shelters. But according to employees and their union representatives, as euthanasia rates went down over the last few years -- a trend that halted this spring -- shelter conditions dangerously worsened. In a lengthy brief to City Council members laying out the staffers' complaints and accompanying the petition, they say that "the department is simply holding more animals for longer periods of time. These policies have also increased the stress on impounded animals -- longer impound periods lead to overcrowding, fighting, illness and injuries; all of which increase the risk of illness and injuries to department personnel."
"They're warehousing animals -- four and five and six per cage," said Victor Gordo, general counsel for the union that represents shelter supervisors. "That's not good for the animals and that's not good for the public. These animals are tearing each other up."
In the brief, the employees say that shelter supervisors have found Boks and Barth "to be of little help in dealing with these issues -- they simply demand lower euthanasia numbers and threaten disciplinary action or reassignment for failing to realize them."
Staffers also contend that Boks and Barth have "allowed the field enforcement staff to fall to dangerously low levels," leaving more loose dogs on the street.
Boks does not deny that shelter population is up, and creating crowded conditions. But he noted that animal population is under the control of shelter managers and that they have been given management tools for dealing with their shelters. "Some of our center managers have allowed conditions to get out of hand and I have directed our new assistant general manager over operations to help reluctant managers better manage their animal populations," he said.
Boks disputed claims of employees being disciplined. "Euthanasia is up and no one has been disciplined or reassigned," he said. "Impoundments are also up, demonstrating field operations are functioning better than usual."
Annual euthanasia statistics for cats and dogs, which have been trending downward over the last five years, started going up in recent months. In July, 2,616 cats and dogs were euthanized, up 746 from July 2007, 19 from July 2006 and 120 from July 2005.
Boks attributes the rise in euthanasia to a rise in intake of animals, partially due to housing foreclosures.
I wonder if the Times and especially Hall, feel any sense of remorse for ignoring two years of endless complaints of animal neglect and poor management by Boks.