PROVIDING INFORMATION AND ANALYSES OF ANIMAL ISSUES IN LOS ANGELES
From ADL on Barnette and our shelters
show details1:02 PM (47 minutes ago)
PLEASE POST AND CROSS POST
AND PUT ON YOUR FACE BOOK WALLS!
We know the below is a long Action Alert, but it's more than worth the read! It's one of the most informative and educational postings we've put together directly from our inside sources.
FINALLY, after a seven year campaign to STOP THE KILLING in our six city shelters, for the first time, sources are telling ADL-LA that Brenda Barnette (who is the city's top leader in the protection and welfare of ALL the animals in our city) is not only leading the shelters in a new and positive direction but . . . (and this is amazing to us here at ADL-LA,) the LAAS Commission is kicking ass for the animals! Apparently the commission is working as a team with Brenda Barnette and the DFO's to put words into ACTION for the animals. Creative ideas that use to sit around for months (even years) and end up never getting done because of the red tape of city beauracracy and a lazy LAAS commission and GM, are now moving forward to SAVE ANIMALS' LIVES!
So our HERO of the week is president of the LAAS Commission Melanie Ramsayer! We may not know you but from what we hear. . . . .YOU GO GIRL!
Several independent sources have told us, two in administration, one city employee who attends the commission meetings and another who listens to all the meetings recorded, that under the direction of LAAS commission president Melanie Ramsayer, the commissioners have transformed themselves into passionate and enthusiastic "doers" for the animals with great ideas, willing to establish creative ideas and create policy that SAVES ANIMALS' LIVES!
Remember the "bad ol' days" when ADL-LA, along with the entire humane community, knew that because of such a weak and lazy LAAS commission, that nothing positive was being done for the animals? The ONLY one who luckily has been sitting on the commission consistently
and who has a great deal of knowledge not only regarding animal behavior but on commission policy is Kathy Riordan. But most of her colleagues over the past seven years have been wimps resulting in the LAAS commission being completely IMPOTENT!
Now four out of the five LAAS commissioners are women who are seemingly spirited, spunky and determined to do valiant things to Stop The Killing!
The one male commissioner, Tariq Khero, STILL needs to put his "man pants on." Ever since he was appointed he has always been timid and uninterested in making positive and creative changes for the animals. He, along with the attorney for the LAAS Commission, Dov Lesel, are like two peas in a pod; appearing to be afraid of their own shadow when having to make tough decisions that would SAVE THE LIVES OF ANIMALS! But thanks to president Ramsayer, who along with the three other female commissioners is courageously stepping up to the plate like never before!
Barnette and the LAAS Commission are also IMPOWERING the two newly appointed Department Field Officers (DFO's) who report directly to the General Manager. We are hearing that DFO Mark Salazar and Jan Selder are really trying to make major changes in the archaic ways the shelters have been run for so many years. It's extremely difficult, however, because some of the employees who have been around the longest are the worst!
These old timers have been promoted over the years by a 'good ol' boys network' inside the LAAS administration. This network apparently hides complaints about those they have been 'friends with for years' instead of promoting those who are creative, progressive and humane. That's why the poor animals' have ended with those like Lieutenant Troy Boswell, Captain Wendell Bowers and Captain Karen Knipscheer Cox (and many others) having been at LAAS for OVER twenty years and are some of the worst employees currently holding top positions like "ACT Supervisors, Captains and Lieutenants!"
Unfortunately, their obstructionism and obsession with wanting to hold on to their power (even though they are entrenched in a "Catch-and-Kill" mentality) makes it challenging, if not almost impossible to get rid of them! But that's where Brenda Barnette, DFO's Mark Salazar and Jan Selder and the LAAS Commission come in!
These high ranking LAAS shelter employees who refuse to embrace progressive No Kill sheltering policies, protocols and reforms have a new General Manager, newly appointed DFO's and a new LAAS commission to deal with; and they're going to have to learn to play nicely in the sand box or get out of the way!
For years, most of these obstructionist high ranking employees' very identity has been their "petty" power trips and they have gotten away with it for years, even though the animals are dying and thousands are dead because of it. But as we have previously quoted Bob Dylan prophetic words, "The Times They are A Changin' "
Some of these foot-draggers have terrible social skills with the public and this has filtered down to the ones who are behind the front desk. These employees have been, and many STILL ARE, unprofessional and even downright nasty to the public. Over the years, these employees have actually DRIVEN away potential adopters because they don't get off their butts to take the public around the shelter and encourage them to adopt a companion animal!
Some employees have been witnessed by the volunteers, other employees and the public for YEARS saying in a surly way, "Just go and look in the back" when a member of the public comes in enthusiastically wanting to adopt a dog or cat from the shelter. Many shelter employees try and CONVINCE the adopter that the dog/cat they want is "too old!" We have heard this complaint dozens of times throughout the years. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP. Adult dogs and cats are usually housetrained already and learn much faster then young ones, who not only need to be housetrained, but like to chew up furniture and are returned to the shelters in exasperation.
Exceptions exist- thank the lord for ACT Jake Miller at East Valley! But all the employees who deal with adopters should be like Miller and HELP the public adopt not only the dog/cat/bunny THEY want, but never discourage them from adopting older companion animals; this is a classic case of "ageism," and is just as bad as racism, homophobism, sexism and speciesism.
If our LAAS's "customer service" doesn't improve dramatically, to where LAAS is the "MACY'S department store of customer service, we'll NEVER get to No Kill. Because no matter how hard the volunteers/rescuers work to bail out some of the animals, who are then put up for adoption privately, if the LAAS employees are resistant to improving their customer service, then the public will continue to turn around and go someplace else to adopt or buy a pet.
We want to close by using a quote from Shakespeare who said "That he which hath no stomach for this fight, Let him depart." Positive changes are being made slowly but SURELY, but it takes the will and fighting spirit of our new GM, the newly appointed DFO's, the LA Commissioners and the humane community to make sure that the Department of LA Animal Services gets these resistant and lazy employees whose identities and "power trips" are threatened by positive changes (or ANY changes at all,) to either step up to the plate for our homeless animals or to simply DEPART!