A simple question: Can anyone—anyone—tell me why LAAS impounds decreased by double digits between 2001 and 2004 (a total of 24%), then essentially stalled thereafter at 47,200?

Can Mr. Winograd tell me? Can Ed Boks, Alley Cat Allies or Madelyn Bernstein tell me?

Were there more spay neuter vouchers each year during 2001, 2002 and 2003 than during 2004, 2005 or 2006? Were the vouchers for housed animals or feral? Were more feral cat colonies neutered during those years than now, or are the numbers the same but with diminished effect?

Did LAAS have a policy change causing fewer impounds and then reverse that policy? Did increased public awareness of the killing cause people to turn in fewer animals during 2001-2004, but not after ADL raised the issue further in public consciousness?

When it comes to saving the lives of animals, we need to understand both sides of the supply and demand equation for “used animals.”

We really do not understand the supply-side of the solution, how to decrease impounds. We think we do: massive spay/neuter, TNR and education. But were these the cause of the 24% drop in impounds between 2001 and 2004? Have we done less S/N, TNR and education during the past three years, or more with less effectiveness?

Was the decrease during 2001-2004 a mere statistical fluke or are there not-understood causes? Is there some kind of “Butterfly Effect” wherein the causes are so bizarre no one could have suspected?

If we have done more S/N, TNR and education during the past three years with no increased effect, is throwing money into solutions that theoretically should work but in fact have not, an intelligent use of resources?

Do we need better animal “marketers” to solve the killing problem, or do we need an animal-equivalent of John Maynard Keynes who will provide a better understanding of animal demographics and behaviors? Without a better understanding, are we not just shooting blanks?

PS: I just received a dynamite comment regarding another take on saving lives and it is attached below. This is a must-read and makes me think I need to rethink my whole position. It also brings to fore that Stuckey accomplished a lot when he was here, such as getting rid of a lot of useless or worse employees, and cutting euthanasias by 11%.


Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog. Let me make mention of something you brought up, definitions.

Stuckey told me that he spent $10,000 on saving two dogs, he wanted to see how much was too much; how far he could go to save animals?

He said that he fired more people than in the entire history of the department, which I found interesting.

Personally I felt that Stuckey had a great feel for the interworkings of the department and that he would have made a difference. But how far does LAAS go to save an adoptable animal?

That is one of the questions and which ones do you save? What is adoptable and unadoptable defined? Note that Winograd in Philly insisted that he wanted people outside of the humane community so that they don't have the old mentality. Yet Stuckey was not accepted and Boks was.

I feel that Boks, since he is so familiar with everything, tries to concentrate on everything because he realizes lives are at stake.

Someone like Stuckey would concentrate on business and I feel that is what LAAS needs, a business-mind, checks and balances.

Boks is fighting the entire war when he needs to fight the minor battles first, one thing at a time. And by the way, where did you get the numbers on SF SPCA and SF Animal Control. First of all, SF doesn't do the state required report that shows euthanasia, etc. Why don't they do it? Because they don't want the world to see that they are not "no kill". The SPCA still picks and choses.

Are you aware that Wingrad walked out on the SPCA and took the staff. According to Animal People mag the SPCA never recovered from this. There's something about Winograd that makes me very uneasy.

Anonymous said...

I think it was the change in policy. They stopped doing owner requested euthanasia.

That helped a lot with the impounds. There were a lot of people who just didn't want their animals who would demand that the animals be euthanized. They used to do it, but staff and rescuers hated it, so they changed the policy.

Now the people have to take them to a vet and pay for it to be euthanized.

That's $86 and $10 removal fee just for a cat, more for dogs. That's why people used to take them to the shelter to euthanize.

Anonymous said...

Your previous commentor was wrong. Stuckey fired one employee who shoild not have been fired. Stuckey lied a lot about what he did. Employees liked him becasue he was a rubber-stamper.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but this info was confirmed by other sources. Since when do we not check our info before committing to pass it along. I feel this has been a problem all along, the public not getting the entire picture or info because they can't. Much of the info is personnel related and therefore falls under privacy laws. But it is there and a little research is necessary. Stuckey actually walked the kennels every day, did you know that? Kennel supervisors had to pay unexpected inspections in the middle of the night by his orders. There was more to this than meets the eye. And does stopping owner requested euthanasia help the situation? Do you really think that these people will pay to have it done? The poor animal ends up in the dumpster or dumped on the street. This is another way to hurt animals, any time you turn away an animal you are doing it more harm than euthanasia.