Dear Mr. Orlov,
With regard to your front page Daily News article Sunday, you state Boks problems were caused by unhappy politician’s trying to divert attention from their own problems. Who are these politicians?
Five Council members have expressed grave concern with Mr. Boks’ ability to manage LAAS and to tell the truth—Zine called him a liar. The only politician that supports Boks is the Mayor.
Are you saying that Parks, Zine, Cardenas, Smith and Alarcon are dissing Boks because they have problems? This seems to be what you say in your article.
Where did you get the current kill number of 18,000 vs. 23,000 when Boks started? Did you get it from Boks? You know about Boks’ reputation as a liar, therefore why did you not check his numbers on Animal Services own website, http://laanimalservices.org/PDF/reports/CatNDogIntakeNOutcomes.pdf?
The numbers are provided on an annual to-date basis.
Boks started on January 1, 2006. The to-date figure ending March 1 for his first full year, 2006-2007, the euthanasia number was 19,273.
The to-date number for this year, going on his fourth, is 19,394. NO CHANGE!!
Even the year his numbers went way down, 2007-2008, euthanasia to 15,196, the number of animals that died in the shelter due to disease and fighting from overcrowding rose to the highest level ever, 1,284, double any other year in the department’s history.
You did not mention the dramatic increase in animals that died in the shelters after Boks started stuffing them full because he refused to kill animals that would ruin his statistics. Dana Bartholomew reported this story in your own newspaper over a year ago. Therefore the animals died of disease rather than being deliberately killed, but his euthanasia numbers looked good.
In fact, if you look at the last four years altogether, including 2005-2006 when 20,857 animals died from euthanasia, disease and fighting, compared to 20,353 for the last 12 months, we still find NO CHANGE.
One of the most significant ways to reduce killing is to return lost animals to their owners. Under Boks that number has ranged from 4,300 to 4,600, compared to the 4,700-5,000 per year before Boks started.
There has been no improvement in Animal Services kill numbers despite the $150,000,000 bond issue that has built or renovated five shelters, gave Boks an extra five million dollars in his budget, and added another hundred employees to deal with the City’s homeless animals. Los Angeles is just as deadly for unwanted or lost cats and dogs as it was before Boks came.
You talked about none of this. You only mention there were complaints of lack of progress.
AND, you didn’t even mention the letter of no confidence signed by over one half of his own staff, and explain what problems staff had with him.
You didn’t do any fact checking at all for your story, did you Mr. Orlov? Basically you blamed five councilmembers, staff and especially the animal community for Mr. Boks’ “firestorm” of criticism, and not his utter failure to make ANY progress towards No-Kill in the 39 months he has been here.
I assure you we will be fact-checking all of your future articles.