On February 5, I posted a chart of the horror of the Kern County shelters. They are now being sued by rescue individuals with evidence based on shelter statistics vs. anecdotal allegations from the public.

For the complete story and details of the lawsuit see www.shelterwatch.com and its associated blog, www.shelterwatch.blogspot.com.

This could be a landmark case regarding California shelters ignoring and violating the Hayden Act, setting precedent for future suits against a municipal shelter. Currently, there are no penalties or enforcement procedures against violations of the Hayden Act, so it, in effect, does not exist so far as many shelters are concerned.

The Hayden Act and the Future of LAAS and Boks

As everyone knows, I was an enthusiastic supporter of Ed Boks last year.

However, by June the LAAS kill and save numbers started to go south and I stopped posting them on this blog. I continued to support Ed and the department, because he said the bad numbers were due to a high number of unweaned kittens, and that the overall numbers are improving and would so continue in the future. I believed him. He even stated the department was making a giant leap forward towards no-kill. It was not.

In the meantime, the ADL was raising the ante when it came to attacking him and the department. I had committed myself to defending him and the department almost out of habit and because I still believed that by the end of the year the final numbers would be significantly lower than 2005.

During August and September I was very distracted with fighting Santa Monica’s killing of ground squirrels. They were all killed by September and I came back to the situation at LAAS. I watched the poor LAAS numbers and for some reason, chose to ignore them and continue to defend Ed and the department.

By November, it was clear that there would be no substantial change from the year before, yet, inside I still hoped and continued to defend Ed, until early December. Then I published there would be no improvement over 2005.

When the final 2006 numbers came out and I saw no change from 2005 I felt let down and angry.

During about this time I heard that I was considered persona non grata by city hall because I was considered too high profile and controversial by Blackman, and Villaraigosa wanted to avoid controversy of any kind, even that about defending his employees and LAAS. I had hoped to be part of Villaraigosa’s winning team when he became governor. I had even been a photographer in his successful run for mayor.

Thus I felt let down by Ed and scorned by the Mayor’s Office, which gradually overcame my internal commitment to defending him. Still, if you look back, I continued to defend him as late as February 9 when I said he and Winograd ought to work together for a no-kill LA, even though by this time I had withdrawn my support. I felt obligated to present a balanced view as opposed to going over to the Dark Side.

Then, a few days ago I was given a set of statistics by someone who had done a Request for Public Documents, and from what was given, he created the charts and stats summaries reported in my past two posts. I was appalled by how unfairly cats were treated vs. dogs by LAAS under Boks. I learned he probably favored dogs because he was allergic to cats and cats were less easy to handle than dogs in the shelter environment.

At this point I had become quite angry. Then, I saw almost immediately that the stats and charts demonstrated that may have been over 1,000 violations of the Hayden law were committed just during the first nine months of 2006.
It also became clear he was constantly too optimistic about where LAAS to the extent what he was saying at any minute was close to being an untruth.

He told me he worked 18 hour days, yet I heard he was leaving at 5 pm just like everyone else. Apparently he was counting the time schmoozing with rescuers and politicians, and creating, what I thought, were many innovative and positive events that were not really helping the animals.

I understand Ed has done a lot to make the department work better—a lot, but this has not helped the animals.

I think one of Ed’s biggest problems is he knows so much old-school methods of sheltering, that he has not really looked for new solutions. The programs he has brought here are essentially what the department and rescuers have been doing all along, but he gave them different names, the same as he used in Phoenix and New York. Even his new Mission Statement was almost identical to that of the New York shelter system he ran.

There was nothing innovative.

I have urged the development of a fundamental knowledge of what animal populations and behaviors are really all about. Several scientists, including a biologist and two demographers agreed. Ed clearly demonstrated he was not interested in this approach, I think, because he didn’t understand it and did not want to be perceived as incompetent. I think he equated not being an expert at everything, as a personal fault, rather than being humble enough to accept help.

At this point, as with the other Blogger, I am just mystified as why Ed didn’t improve the numbers. That is why he was brought here, not to improve the department’s internal functioning.

I wish he were forced to spend effort to develop the science of the external forces of dog and cat population dynamics, including fertility peaks and ways of interrupting breeding cycles, and the external dynamic problems of each shelter and how to deal with them locally. I understand that the West LA shelter is close to being no-kill, or at least it is very low kill. What has to be done at other shelters?
I think he has to carefully analyze which of his programs work which don’t and put more resources in those that do.

What about pit bulls and cats? What can be done to bring the numbers down? Is any effort being made to put unweaned kittens together with lactating mothers? Is there some way to keep the kittens with their moms?

I think he had to reach out to epidemiologists, demographers and animal behaviorists to help him find new ways to reach no-kill and he doesn’t want to do that either.

Therefore, the only short term solution I see, is to watch, month by month, whether Boks can dig himself out of the hole he has created. I think LAAS had already progressed to the point under Stuckey that improvement will be slight unless there is a radical change away from programs that do not work and to shift attention to the detailed operations of each shelter.

That is, each shelter must deal with understanding why animals are coming in, their internal procedures and how to turn the numbers around. It comes down to establishing local accountability. Yet, if an employee cannot be fired as under LA’s civil services regulations, that will be difficult for anyone to achieve.

What I think we ought to do is watch LAAS kill/save numbers each month and see whether there is substantial improvement from this day forward. There was no improvement during this past January.

The clear discrimination against cats has got to end. If it does not immediately, I will clamber for Boks’ removal yesterday. Ferals have to stop being killed the day they are brought in, or whatever else is causing such a large first day killing of cats. This is what bothers me the most about LAAS and Boks.

But, we need more scrutiny of all levels of the department, including a strengthening of civilian oversight and not make the Commission and the Civilian Oversight Committee weak outsiders. I wish both would retain their own experts to analyze operations and make suggestions to Boks that he cannot shine on.

Is LAAS Guilty of Over 1,400 Violations of the Hayden Act Last Year?

As George Orwell’s pig in Animal Farm stated, some animals are more equal than others. Cats get the shaft at LAAS. They are held a shorter period of time and killed earlier.

500 healthy cats were euthanized on their first day of impound as opposed to 180 healthy dogs. 450 healthy dogs were adopted that first day compared to about 220 healthy cats.

The charts below are gruesome evidence of LAAS' discrimination.These numbers do not include unweaned dogs or cats. These numbers also do not include sick or injured animals. There are separate charts and numbers for them which will be posted later.

I don't understand why 500 cats were euthanized the same day as impounded, or 180 healthy dogs for that matter.

This appears to be a clear violation of the Hayden Act, which states:

No dog or cat impounded by a public pound or specified shelter shall be killed until after a minimum of four or six days BUSINESS DAYS have elapsed, not including the day impounded.

That means the killing cannot start until the 6th BUSINESS DAY after impound. If a shelter is closed one day a week, they cannot be killed until the eighth day.

These rules also apply to owner turn ins as quoted from the Act below.

The statistics provided are the department's own statistics; they are for healthy cats and dogs.

Therefore, why were they killed?

If the department deemed many of the healthy cats feral on impound, they were still required by the Hayden Act to hold them a minimum of three days and only then temperament tested to determine whether a cat is a frightened tame cat or truly feral.

Hayden Act:

If an apparently feral cat has not been reclaimed by its owner or caretaker within the first three days of the required holding period, shelter personnel qualified to verify the temperament of the animal shall verify whether it is feral or tame by using a standardized protocol.

If the cat is determined to be docile or a frightened or difficult tame cat, the cat shall be held for the entire required holding period specified in Section 31752. If the cat is determined to be truly feral, the cat may be euthanized or relinquished to a nonprofit.

Owner Turn-ins:

31754. (a) Except as provided in Section 17006, any animal relinquished by the purported owner that is of a species impounded by pounds or shelters shall be held for the same holding periods, with the same requirements of care, applicable to stray dogs and cats in Sections 31108 and 31755

So, not only is it terribly clear that LAAS discriminates against cats, these charts present prima facie evidence of multiple (over a thousand illegal acts by LAAS.

If this is true, LAAS has been in violation of the Hayden Act over one thousand, four hundred time during just the first nine months of 2006 and possibly hundreds more if the animals were killed on the sixth and seventh day.

URL for the Hayden Act:

The official government website for the Hayden Act:

At this government website, check "Food and Agriculture Code" and then type in 31754 to see in official black and white that Owner Turn Ins must be held for the entire hold period, and 31752, 31755, 31108 for definitions of "holding period," "feral," etc.


Absolute Proof LAAS discriminates Against Cats

The numbers below are for total intake, Oct 1, 2005 to Oct. 1, 2006 (healthy, injured, sick, unweaned) cats and dogs and their disposition. The charts I posted before were for hold times and the disposition of healthy animals.

I was in error when I stated before these were the numbers of animals from October 1, 2005 to October 1, 2006. In fact, these are the numbers just for the first nine months of 2006, January 1, 2006 to October 6, 2006.


DOGS 2006 YTD (October 06)

21705 Intake

15809 Healthy at Impound
....1856 NewHope 12%
....6895 Adopt 44%
....3246 Euthanized 21%
....2982 Redeemed 19%

1728 Injured
....1039 Euthanized 60%

1973 Sick
....1228 Euthanized 62%

316 Unweaned
....97 Euth 31%


CATS 2006 YTD (October 6, 2006)

19399 Intake

9662 Healthy at Impound

....717 NewHope 7%
....4009 Adopt 41%
....4180 Euth 43%
....194 Redeemed 2%

862 Injured Intake
....714 Euthandasia 83%

1966 Sick Intake
....1701 Euthanasia 87%

4840 Unweaned
....3749 Euthanasia 77%

Further skewing the statistics, you can see 73% of the dogs were considered healthy, but only 50% of the cats were considered healthy. It seems highly unusual that far higher percentage of cats were considered sick than dogs. Far more.

In addition, only 60% and 62% of injured and sick dogs were euthanized, while 83% and 87% of the cats were euthanized.

This utterly proves that cats were discriminated against compared to dogs.

What On Earth Were You Thinking Ed?

18 cats “rescued”and 14 are killed?

According to a press release today, on October 4, 2006, LAAS impounded 18 cats from a “hoarder.” All were considered very ill, 4 recovered and 14 were killed “humanely” because they did not recover from respiratory infections and skin conditions.

The woman was prosecuted, fined, sentenced to community service and put on probation.No mention was made concerning the specifics of the environment the cats were living in and why it was deemed by LAAS to constitute abuse. No mention was made of the specific illnesses these "non-treatable" cats had, or the treatments received. Were they just still sneezing or were they lying on the ground panting? Did the four ferals cat have to be killed, or was TNR not considered in her case?

Well Ed, who is a hoarder and who is a rescuer?Do 10 cats make a person a hoarder? Six? Are the “legitimate” rescuers who have 25 cats at home with four bottle babies and two getting SQ fluids for kidney failure, hoarders? Is a little old lady who has eight cats and has barely enough money to feed herself, let alone pay exorbitant vet bills, a hoarder? Or is a hoarder someone not registered as a New Hope partner but who has five cats?

What is the point of rescuing abused animals then killing 80%? This is not rescue; this is insane!

There are millions of people in third world countries living in squalor, who are starving, diseased, with parasites and skin conditions. Do you advocate we humanely euthanize them to save them from their misery? Hell, there are lots of people living diseased and in squalor on the streets downtown.

Do you advocate killing feral cats who are living in dirty, cold and dangerous alleys, or who are ill or have respiratory infections?Do you still advocate raising the household limit of three cats when someday you might decide someone is a hoarder and their animals killed because the cats are not receiving the high level of care they would receive under LAAS’s “protection” before they are killed?

I had a lady-friend, 78 years old and terminally ill, living in a HUD building, who had owned and rescued cats all her life. For her last 40 years she had maintained colonies, rescued and adopted cats out from her apartment. She had worked for vets for almost 20 years. She helped place tens of hundreds of cats just in the few years I knew her. The year she died, she still had 15 cats she was trying to adopt out, living with her in a studio apartment. She lived on $840/month. Friends helped some.

The cats all were in pretty good health despite the fact she rescued ill or otherwise non-adoptable cats, such as one with three legs and another with epilepsy. She cared more for their health than her own. Yet, she feared every knock on her door thinking it might be animal control, who might take away and destroy her cats.

Why a press release? Was the intent to send a message that LAAS is holding everyone hostage who loves animals and who has four or more? Is this the beginning of a reign of terror, holding the threat of killing loved animals if rescuers do not toe the LAAS and Boks’ line as have previous General Managers?

In the past, under Stuckey, bone fide rescuers who had never been “inspected” before, were visited as many as five times in a few months. You had LAAS “inspect” the homes of your friends in order to protect yourself from charges that you were protecting them, earning you, in my eyeys, a reputation of self-serving disloyalty.

What on earth were you thinking Ed?

Horror at LA County Shelters--LAAS

Truly horrifying euthanasia statistics from the LA County shelters. For 2005, cat kill rate 79% and dog kill rate of 46%. That year, 46,573 cats and dogs were killed or 140% more than LAAS. The red part of the circle indicates the number killed.

If you look at the LAAS red list, the hold time is about three weeks now before they are at high risk of being killed.

Horror at LAAS--a resuer's heartbreaking narative:

When I first started volunteering at the shelter I had a fear I might want to bring them all home. But there are just so many animals that it's overwhelming. You feel like your work is just a drop in a bucket or a single grain of sand on the beach. Knowing what you and I know about their chances of being adopted, it's depressing sometimes to even just look at their photos. I look at them knowing that they will probably die. I would have to work to stay positive in the shelters.

I actually cried my first day watching people just dump their animals.This one pretty white shephard was so frightened, shaking, drooling, peeing on itself, crying, whining as the owner dumped him. The dog kept trying to follow the owner but was dragged down the hallway to checkin by the ACO. An hour later I saw this once clean and pretty white shephard in his cage. He'd been attacked by other dogs, had diarrhea on himself, was shaking and his chest was totally covered in drool. They had to euthanize the dog the next hour when he was attacked again by the two pit bulls in his cage. A fate worse than death.

NY Rescuer Says Boks is Eternally too Optimistic

I had a long talk today with Patty Adjamine, a rescuer in New York who knows Boks well. She said NYACC improved a lot while he was there, but not nearly enough to reach no-kill in our lifetimes. Kill rates have dropped from approximately 78% in 2000 to 52% last year or about 4.3% per year compared to the 2000 figures, but a higher percentage if we calculate from year to year.

Her blog is: http://journals.aol.com/mandy787/TalesTailsofNewYork/

As I pointed out in a previous post, even a 10% improvement each year will not result in no-kill at least until approximately 2018, eleven years away, assuming that no-kill means around 12% are killed. The reason is, a 10% decrease each year means 10% of a declining number of animals killed.

For example, assume we have 20,000 killed a year. A 10% decrease each year will not mean we would have no-kill in 10 years, as each year, a 10% decrease means compared to the year before, not the year one total of 20,000.

A 10% decrease in year one, means 18,000 will be killed in year two, leaving a new base number of 18,000. A 10% decrease in year two, means 1,800 fewer animals will be killed, or 16,200. A 10% decrease in year three would be 1,620 animals, leaving 14,580. Year five would mean we kill 13,100. That is, we have killed 10% fewer animals each year, but after five years, we have decreased the kill rate only 34%.

The problem here is that LAAS made no progress in 2006. At that rate of improvement, we will reach no-kill in year 2156.

She said the two problem areas are pit bulls and cats. She said 6,000 pit bulls were brought in last year and only a fraction adopted. Cats, as here, get shafted. They get less attention from staff and are more frequently dumped by the public.

She said of Boks that he was always far too optimistic and usually painted a far too rosy picture of the shelter system and how no-kill was just around the corner. There was no cooking of the books, no sleaze, no nothing except an unrealistic optimism.

She said that with Boks, you have to hold his feet to the grindstone and expose the unreality of his predictions. Painting too rosy a picture leads to more people surrendering their animals and builds unrealistic expectations.

She agreed with me that spay/neuter was not the final solution, but that targeted education was. I will get to her recommendations shortly and will plagiarize and pawn them off as my own. (A little humor; some of my readers otherwise might say I am being dishonest again.)

I do not know what LAAS is doing in the educational area and I hope the GM report will address the issue.

I do not think Spay/Neuter is the answer. Like Boks and the rescuer in NY, I think the solution is education. Patty refined that to “targeted education” which I will detail in a separate post.

Inaction at LAAS--Ammended numbers re cat saves

Boks hase not had a post on his blog in 20 days. Over six weeks have passed since January 1, and there is no GM report. The LAAS website hasn't had an update during the past month except for the January stats. Has the department gone underground?

Stuckey had an 11% improvement in the euth stats during his first year, while Greenwalt had 39% in three years. Boks had 11% in his first year in New York. What's wrong?

A brief analysis of the January LAAS numbers indicates:

The save rate for “Other” animals dropped from 65% to 51%;

The save rate for cats dropped from 65% to 60%;

The save rate for dogs rose from 71% to 74%.

Ignoring the rabbit numbers which I do not fully understand, 140 fewer animals were saved this January compared to January 2006, even while total impounds dropped by 133.

The total number euthanized dropped by 125, about the same number of fewer impounds.

95 more dogs were saved this year, 89 fewer cats were saved and 140 fewer “other” animals were saved.

Given minor variations for stolen, DOA, escaped, etc., in total, 140 fewer animals were saved than last year.

Therefore, January 2007 has not been a good month for LAAS. When can we expect the new and improved LAAS to substantially kill fewer animals and save more?

I do note that Winograd claims the cats saved stats for 2006 in Philadelphia was 65%. This was way up from the 88% euthanasia rate the year before. This is an enormous change in one year. I'd like to see the raw statistics for verification, and if Philly did it, how did they do it?

LAAS also had a 60-65% save rate for cats December-January. Of course, this is the off-season kill rate. LAAS saves percentage for the year was 38%!

Things will get much worse in May.

I’d like to follow Philly’s save rate for 2007 to see if it maintains, drops or increases. There are a lot of people who claim Winograd's methodolgy will not work in larger shelter systems, so we need the entire stats. I think I'll do a request for public records.

Cats Given Short End of the Stick at LAAS-correction


Dogs are held much longer in the shelters than cats leading to their much higher live release rates.

If you look at the animals on hand in the shelters, and the average length of stay, You will find that cats are killed more quickly and have higher kill numbers.

Of the cats on hand today, only 5% were brought in before January 1, while 11% of all dogs were impounded before January 1.

Of the cats alive now, 92% came in during the past 30 days, while it was 75% for dogs. Dogs are being held much longer and therefore have a higher adoption rate. If you look at the numbers alive and impounded in the shelters today, there are almost 4 dogs for every cat, even though only 2-1/2 more dogs were brought in than cats.

This discrimination against cats is even more apparent when you know that only 1,538 cats were impounded in December-January, but over 4,000 dogs. There were fewer cats, they were kept a shorter length of time and they were killed more quickly.

LAAS discriminates against cats.

I understand Boks is primarily a dog person and shelter personnel prefer working with dogs because the cats bite and scratch and cannot be polled. Is this the reason—selective attention and care?

This has resulted in a euthanasia rate of 40% for cats and 23% for dogs during December-January.

During the summer there are far more unweaned kittens than dogs, but this does not apply to the December-January months.

Las Vegas Shelter killed 1,000 Pets Last Week

ANIMAL SHELTER: Lied ending its 'low-kill' policy; after 72 hours, animals will be euthanized .

Lied Animal Shelter officials said Wednesday that they will end the facility's "low-kill" policy, which they said had led to overcrowded and diseased conditions. Since last week, the shelter has euthanized 1,000 cats and dogs that had highly contagious diseases.

"Our policies were written to save every animal we possibly could," said a weeping Janie Greenspun Gale, chairwoman of the board of the Animal Foundation, the private nonprofit group that operates Lied. "In that misguided policy, we caused animals pain."

Greenspun Gale said the shelter will adopt a policy toward keeping animals for only 72 hours. Its current low-kill policy is to keep animals for 120 days before euthanizing them.

"We're not a hotel for pets," she said.

Greenspun Gale, with elected officials and Lied administrators, spoke to animal rights supporters Wednesday evening to address what some called a "state of emergency" at the regional pound.

Lied was closed briefly last week after veterinarians from the Humane Society of the United States inspecting the facility discovered an outbreak of several diseases in cats and dogs. Roughly 800 cats and dogs at the facility have not been euthanized.

The shelter is now accepting stray cats and dogs, but not animals that pet owners want to leave at the facility.

Pet owners who come to the facility to get rid of their pets are being told that if they do so, their pet will be euthanized, not adopted, Lied spokesman Mark Fierro said.

He said the facility is encouraging owners to keep their pets until the shelter fully reopens, possibly by Friday. They're also directing owners to private rescue organizations that might be able to assist them.

Greenspun Gale said overcrowding at the facility helped the spread of distemper and Parvovirus in dogs and panleukopenia in cats.

The 11-year-old shelter, which has contracted with Clark County and the cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, also has used vaccines and immunizations that were ineffective, Greenspun Gale said. The vaccines utilized dead viruses and took up to 10 days to become effective.

Lied has frequently been overcrowded because of its policy of keeping animals longer in hopes they will be adopted.

"Humane sheltering is a very new movement," Greenspun Gale said. "We have been flying by the seat of our pants."

The facility doesn't keep any of the roughly 7,000 animals it sees each year if they run out of space at its animal Karen Layne, president of the Las Vegas Valley Humane Society, said Lied's policy as a low-kill facility "was a mirage" that led residents to believe it was OK for their dogs and cats to have offspring.

Layne said people dropped off pets at the animal shelter because they had the false belief that those pets were certain to be adopted.

"I would hope that we would be more honest with the population," Layne said.But city and county officials didn't want to start placing blame with Lied administrators. They said ultimate blame rests with pet owners who don't spay or neuter their animals.

Rancho Cucamonga Having Major Problems

Several emails were sent to me regarding the Rancho Cucamona shelter. Operations were taken over by the city from county supplied services in May, 2005, sometime after Winogard consulted I believe. I'd like a time-line if anyone could give it to me..

The emailer claims that the save rate before the city took over was 86%. Now it has dropped to 70%. Shelter officials are not responding to requests for public records. It also appears the shelter director may have lied about the number of animals killed.

Scary, is the finding that a large number of animals entering the shelter system are already neutered, meaning owner-turn-ins or abandoned. That means spay/neuter may be much slower to bring shelter euth rates down unless adoption rates go up significantly. That is, if 30% of the animal impounded are neutered, we are dealing with many animals already sterilized by the shelters.

The emails:

Here's an article that came out in today's paper. http://www.dailybulletin.com/news/ci_5205421

Rancho declared itself no kill and now they are backing off of "overnight" no kill. As you can see they are still euthanizing a lot of animals. Considering that the numbers when the County had it were showing a drop now they are going up in Rancho and it will only get worse. Go on their web site and see dogs that have been there since June 2006. These dogs get walked for 20 minutes a day and the other 23 and half are spend in small kennels with the constant barking. http://www.rcpets.info/

The minutes of a city council meeting include testimony of finding dead and dying animals in their cages. They had a ringworm outbreak and failed to notify the public. Also this indicates poor shelter practices. I checked our other local shelters and none of them have ever had a ringworm outbreak. A volunteer responded to my posting on Craigs that the staff didn't take breaks or lunches because they were overworked.

I have requested public info regarding these things and have been refused in writing. I asked for an accounting of the groups taking animals out because I have received reports of a couple of hoarders working the shelter. They refused again saying they don't have any accounting or records of what groups and what they get. I mean c'mon.

Article in the Daily Bulletin this past weekend, the new director stated they put down 730 animals when they put down 1201. Go to http://www.dailybulletin.com/ and do a search for animal. The article will come up by Wendy Leung. And granted the numbers are bad. I've not seen such an poorly written report and it points to their lack of record keeping, even though they have the Chameleon system. If you know how to use it, all that info is in there.

I do know that I watched dogs in there for 3-5 months and then one day they are gone. I will call about them and be told that they were euthanized for behavior problems. I would ask how long does it take them to recognize problems or was it kennel stress? They would not answer that question. Out of the 111 dogs they had listed yesterday on their web site, http://www.rcpets.info/, 37 of them have been there as long as 7 months. What was disturbing to me was that 45 of the 111 dogs arrived at the shelter altered. The females were 29 and the males were 17. Now that means these dogs were owned at one time and the owner never showed. That also indicates that people are turning in their pets as strays or surrenders. This indicates a bad trend.

By the way, the time frame we are talking is May 06 to Dec. 06. The City of Rancho took over the shelter on May 2, 2006 from the County of San Bernardino Animal Control. The City has always owned the shelter but contracted with the County for all services, staffing and field.

Ed, where are we Going?

Ed Boks is transforming the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services, or so I am told, to be more efficient, responsive and caring. This may be true, but Ed’s stated objective was no kill, and no measurable progress has been made in that direction during the past year. We do not need a department that more efficiently kills the animals purportedly we want to save. LAAS has to bring the numbers down to reclaim and sustain credibility of Boks’ original promise of No-Kill. Of course, that term may have been used only for political correctness.

I would have Ed let us in on what internal changes have been made in the department and the results of these changes. Which of the new programs has accountably saved lives and which programs have not or have been dropped? How many new employees have been added? Where? What has been the result during the five months since the last GM report?

The 39,000 spay-neuters last year, will they pay off in terms of decreased euthanasia this year? Impounds have been more or less constant for the past four years. Can we S/N our way into fewer impounds, or is that a disproved myth such as the recognition that we cannot adopt our way out? There are estimates of almost 5,000,000 cats and dogs, housed and feral in LA City. Are not 100,000 sterilizations a year only a drop in the bucket given that number even if we assume half have already been sterilized?

Can we measure the effect of current educational programs to decrease impounds? I agree, this is the long term solution, but long term may mean 30 years.

Ed, we are not asking questions to micromanage; we just want to know what changes have been made that will deliver on lives saved, or whether the promise is a PC myth. We want to know whether you have the knowledge and guts to make LA no-kill. We want accountability, benchmarks, milestones by which we can measure your, and LAAS’s, success or failure. We know that so far allegations of a giant step towards no-kill were words only.

It seems that all over the country promised deadlines of no kill shelters have been shoved ever forward into the future.

NYC now puts no-kill at 2015 instead of 2008.

When can we expect no-kill in LA? You have triple the budget you had in NYC and more than twice as many employees. Do we have to wait until we’ve sterilized another 500,000 animals over the next five years to get a 20% cut in euthanasia through decreased impounds? Are the current adoption rate figures as good as it will get? Are we maxed out on the capability of even a new, improved LAAS?

Ed, I staked much of my own credibility on your success. I published your early great numbers, defended your blog, counterattacked the Hooters event accusations, tried to publish antidotes to ADL untruths and speculations, etc. Vindicate my trust in you.

Please Ed, where is the 2006 annual report and where are the January numbers? The honeymoon is over and we want you to deliver on your “marriage” vow of no-kill. By now you should know all the problems in LA and should have a plan to solve them. What is it?
April 1994--------------------------------January 29, 2007
This little girl was my life.
She died in surgery from intestinal cancer.
I will miss her dearly.

Boks Investigated Immuno-contraceptives in NYC

Boks investigated the use of immuno-contraceptives when running the NYC shelters, but abandoned the approach when advised that the products were not ready for public application.

The same researcher told me that at Cornell and elsewhere, research is being conducted on permanent immuno-contraceptive vaccines that could be administered in the field.

I have seen some of the papers published regarding both chemical and immuno contraceptive research and find the approach viable.

There may be a day in the future when we look back in wonder that we had used surgery for sterilization.

Cat Contraceptive May be Available Now

The article below refers to the work of Julie Levy whom Winograd opined was doing the state of the art research in cat contraceptives. He referred to her in his email posted on this blog two days ago. According to this article, her vacine is for adminsitration to feral cats in the field. No need to transport them to a vet's office. Apparently this vacine, or one very similar, has been used in deer contraceptive research for a decade. This article states the vacine may be available in early 2007. I will check this out.

American Pet Journal
Lynn Thomas Tuesday, October 17, 2006

For the more than 70 million cats in the United States defined as feral, it translates into homelessness, disease, starvation, exposure to cruel weather conditions and prey for predators. Feral cats fear humans because loving hearts and hands never socialized them.

Programs like the trap-neuter-return require funding, community support and many volunteers, including veterinarians. The theory is that sterilized cats can't reproduce, so the feral population will gradually decrease in a humane way. Yet trapping and transporting cats is labor-intensive and licensed veterinarians must perform the surgeries, which are expensive.

Now comes a ray of hope from Julie Levy, head of Operation Catnip at the University of Florida, in a study funded by the Morris Animal Foundation and publicized in the foundation's "Animal News" publication. Levy has been testing a sterilization vaccine that could be administered by veterinary technicians in the field.

This vaccine targets a hormone in the brain called GnRH. When GnRH is controlled, a cat does not produce estrogen or testosterone and becomes temporarily infertile as a result.
The vaccine doesn't last forever, but in Levy's research, it is exceeding expectations. Fifteen female cats were vaccinated in May 2004, and, despite living with an un-neutered male, only one had become pregnant as of early 2006.

A long-term inexpensive fertility vaccine would give humane agencies, animal-control officers and public safety officials a humane way to control feral cat populations.Levy's studies would mean fewer cats struggling for survival on the streets. The vaccine is hoped to be to be available to the public by early 2007.

More on Cat and Dog contraceptives--some ready to go

Status of Current Approaches ACC&D Press Releases Media Coverage of ACC&D and Non-Surgical Contraception Publications
10,000 Dog Zinc Gluconate Study in Mexico Dr. Carlos Esquivel has presented newly available results from a field program using zinc gluconate in 10,000 dogs in Mexico. The study was conducted from November 2003 to June 2006. Esquivel, head of the Mexican VMA and Dean of Continuing Education with the Universidad Autonoma Nacional de Mexico, concluded that their study demonstrated that the product is safe and effective, and can be a valuable tool in getting male dogs sterilized in the field. Overall, sterilization via injection had much greater cultural acceptance than castration in Mexico. Esquivel reports that public health outreach vaccinates 15-18 million dogs annually for rabies, and zinc gluconate has potential for reducing those populations via sterilization.

Below we’ve included brief descriptions of some of the more promising approaches. For a more thorough review of recent research, please see the Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Non-Surgical Contraceptive Methods of Pet Population Control.

Product: ChemSpay® From: Senestech Status: Early stage development (dose levels, formulation) in dogs. Preliminary work in cats. What it is: An industrial chemical that has been shown to deplete the ovarian follicles and cause sterility in rodents. Some preliminary data showing this effect is also seen in dogs.

Product: Suprelorin® From: Peptech Animal Health Status: Approved and available for use in male dogs in Australia (6 month and 12 month doses) since December 2004 and New Zealand (6 month dose only) since September 2005. Peptech has announced plans to seek approval for future global use. What it is: A deslorin (GnRH agonist) implant for male dogs resulting in sterility for six or 12 months (both durations available).

Product: Neutersol® From: Abbott Laboratories Status: Neutersol is approved by the FDA for use in the US. Neutersol is currently unavailable, however the patent holder announced in November 2006 that they are working with Abbott Laboratories, which will be manufacturing and distributing the product in the U.S. in the “near future”. Neutersol may be approved for use in male cats in the future. ACC&D Perspective: Zinc gluconate (brand name: Neutersol®) is the only non-surgical pet sterilant approved as safe and effective for use in the US. Zinc gluconate is cheaper and easier to administer than surgical sterilization is to perform.

Product: Gonazon® From: Invervet France. US approval will be sought. A silicone implant provides one-year reversible contraception for female dogs and cats. ACC&D Perspective: Dr. Driancourt announced some limited data in cats showing that when the implant is not removed, queens had suppression of estrus over an extended period of time – nearly three years so far. This raises the possibility that the product might be useful in the control of feral cat populations.

Product: GonaCon™ From: National Wildlife Research Center of the USDA Status: Data is being submitted to the EPA initially for approval for use in deer and other cervids. Separate studies underway assess potential for use in dogs and feral cats. GonaCon has been shown (in preliminary research) to be effective in approximately 75% of female cats for 2 and ½ years to date. We believe GonaCon may have potential to fill a niche in feral cat colony management.

Oral Contraceptives for Cats

160 people, among them animal shelter and humane society members, veterinarians, technicians and cat rescuers from around the United States, gathered at the Worcester, Massachusetts Holiday Inn to attend a daylong summit meeting this past March, dedicated to discussing solutions to this country's feral-cat problem. Forty to sixty million feral cats that live paw to mouth on the margins of our pet-loving society. Salmonella to the Rescue

Current answers to the feral-cat problem include education, legislation, sterilization and euthanization. These strategies are a start, but unless there were 54,000 fertile cats removed from the feral-cat population — or rendered sterile and returned to it — every day--those who would solve this problem using current solutions are fighting a rear guard action. Reinforcements may be on the way, however, in the form of a strain of salmonella that does not produce disease.

Michelle Meister-Weisbarth, 32, a third-year student at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM), has genetically engineered a strain of Salmonella, one that does not produce disease, for use as an oral contraceptive vaccine with female cats. Her creation is an immunocontraceptive vaccine, i.e., one that prompts a cat's immune system to produce antibodies that prevent sperm from fertilizing her eggs.

"Immunocontraceptive vaccines have been around for a while," says Meister-Weisbarth, "but no one had married the idea of our feral cat problem with the vaccine. The key is to make the vaccine species-specific so you can put it in food pellets, drop them as bait, and not worry about blocking fertilization in any other animal."

After the vaccine-carrying pellets have been eaten, the vaccine passes through the digestive system, attaches itself to lymphoid tissue, and is absorbed by the body. Once that happens, the vaccine replicates enough to produce a antigen protein, then the Salmonella dies off. The protein induces antibodies to the sperm receptor, and those antibodies attach to the female cat's eggs, blocking the receptor sites so the head of a sperm cannot attach.In the Meantime
According to current plans, vaccine-carrying food pellets will be scattered in places that feral-cat colonies are known to frequent.

"Using bait to deliver vaccines isn't a new idea," says S.M. Boyle, Ph.D., a professor of biomedical sciences and pathology at VMRCVM. "A similar program in Europe using a virus to deliver a rabies vaccine has virtually wiped out rabies from foxes. We hope to do the same thing to help reduce the feral-cat population."

Studies in animals other than cats show that the contraceptive vaccine is dose dependent: A small dose prevents a female from reproducing for a year or so; a large dose renders her permanently sterile. Nevertheless, researchers do not expect the vaccine to replace hysterectomies in house cats. The vaccine doesn't prevent female animals from going into heat, nor does it eliminate the often tiresome behavior occasioned by that process. Besides, hysterectomies provide long-term health benefits such as protection against ovarian cancer and mammary tumors.

"It can be dangerous for humane societies and animal-control groups to try to trap and spay feral animals that may be wild or even rabid," she continues. "This vaccine will serve the feral cat population by making it easy and cost effective to reduce the birthrate of the females."

As promising as this vaccine may sound to persons combating the feral-cat problem, it won't be available to humane societies for at least two to five years at the earliest -- by which time an additional 118 to 296 million kittens will have been born."It's nowhere close to being on the market," Meister-Weisbarth says. "We'll do lab tests over the next couple of years, but the Food and Drug Administration won't put it in the field until we're sure it doesn't have any adverse impact on the environment, including the animals."

This sounds like an ideal project for an animal shelter that otherwise might kill 10,000 cats. Put a few hundred into an indoor study where there are no CEQA considerations.


Email from Winograd

(This is in a response to an email I sent to Nathan re applyig for Michelson's Found Animal Friends CEO position.)

Hi Ed,

I did not apply but to contact Liz (Fanning re: the CEO position at Found Animals Friends) and gave her a couple of prospects. I am not looking for work, regardless of the circumstances. I have a job, which I find fulfilling, and working with places all over the country allows me to maximize the potential for No Kill. Philly is at 65% lifesaving from 88% killing, Charlottesville is now No Kill, other places are improving. Reno, NV will be next, and then maybe Baltimore.

The article you forwarded by Dr. Jan Scarlett citing Dr. Levy's work is the state of the art. Dr. Levy is the nation's lead researcher. She is out of the Univ of Florida at Gainesville. Dr. Scarlett is probably the best veterinary epidemiologist out there. She is at Cornell. I have worked with both of them, in fact, Jan was on my board of directors for a number of years. You can't do better than their work. Keep in mind that surgical spay/neuter is still the gold standard, though a group I am on the advisory board of, had great success using Neutersol on free roaming dogs in the Galapagos.


READ THIS! Non-Surgical Neutering of Shelter and Feral Animals

A few weeks ago I suggested it was time for new thinking regarding saving animal lives through the use of contraceptive drugs or non-surgical sterilization programs. I did a very brief search on the Internet and found the site of the

Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs

On it, one can find literally hundreds of pages exactly addressing this subject: the use of drug contraceptives and non-surgical sterilization methods.

In just one of dozens of papers abstracted below, the researcher contends that tens of millions of dollars would be saved by shelters across the country through a national implementation of non-surgical techniques of non-surgical birth control as opposed to spay/neuter.
I hope that Boks, Winograd and the future head of Found Animal Friends will read these papers and implement these methods at LAAS, saving millions of dollars as the researcher suggests.

Proceedings of the Third International Symposium
on Non-Surgical Contraceptive Methods for Pet Population Control

Dr. Janet Scarlett:

On the day preceding this session, researchers reported on the progress that has been made toward the development of effective non-surgical sterilants for dogs and cats since the second international symposium in 2004. Speakers in this session spoke to the reasons that non-surgical approaches to sterilization are so urgently needed; they reviewed data from recent or ongoing epidemiologic studies that provide estimates of the magnitude of homelessness and euthanasia among cats and dogs in the United States.

The session ended with an economic analysis of the costs associated with the development of nonsurgical sterilization compared to using those invested funds to surgically neuter more animals.

Epidemiologic studies are conducted to gather information about the frequency and causes of diseases or conditions. The conditions of homelessness (with its attendant suffering) and premature death (resulting from euthanasia) have been the subject of increasing numbers of epidemiologic studies over the past 10 years.

Dr. John New presented data from a study of over 6,500 American households providing estimates of birth rates among owned dogs and cats.

When asked about the planning that was associated with the birth of these litters, more than twice as many kittens were unplanned compared to puppies. These data highlight the need to reach a small but significant proportion of pet owners whose animals continue to reproduce despite the availability of surgical neutering.

Data are needed not only pertaining to owned animals, but also relating to unowned animals in animal shelters. Dr. Margaret Gruen described a feasibility study, funded by NCPPSP, that is currently under way to estimate the number of dogs and cats managed by animal shelters annually in the United States and their sources and dispositions.

This initiative seeks to develop a consistent, standardized surveillance system within a few select shelters throughout the country to monitor trends in the number and character of animals entering shelters and to enhance public awareness of issues regarding homeless pets. These data will include information regarding the numbers of intact animals entering shelters and provide estimates of the potential for non-surgical sterilants in the U.S. shelter opulation.

Shelter animals represent only one component of the homeless pet problem
Another prominent component, particularly with regard to cats, is free-roaming. Dr. Margaret Slater described the status of free-roaming cats. The number freeroaming cats is estimated to be at least a third that of owned cats. Free-roaming include owned, outdoor, formerly owned, and feral (never socialized to humans)

These cats are largely sexually intact and are believed to contribute substantially numbers of cats in shelters. In light of their numbers and high fertility, these one of the most important target populations for non-surgical sterilants. The population underscores the need for inexpensive, easily administered and safe nonsurgical products.

The need for non-surgical sterilants was emphasized in the preceding discussions, question remains: Can funds planned for investment in non-surgical sterilants more effective use to surgically neuter more animals? Using data from a variety sources and focusing only on the economic implications, if the $10 million non-surgical contraceptive research was invested in surgical neutering on an would more progress toward ending pet homelessness be made?

The answer resounding “no.” Having a non-surgical sterilant (with the properties discussed has the potential to save over $63 million per year in the humane and veterinary communities, said Joyce Briggs.

In summary, non-surgical contraceptives are urgently needed to save the lives of dogs and cats in this country. The investment of money in research to develop market one or more products will have economic returns well in excess of the and will save the lives of millions of dogs and cats in the U.S. annually.

If you read other articles on the site, you will find tons of research on methods already extant and working.. How many millions of dollars and thousands of lives saved could LAAS implement these techniques?

Kern County Massacre

How are these stats for Kern County AC&C?
81% euthanasia rate for cats. 7% adopted, 3.5% tp rescue groups.

From: www.sheltertrack.com

Ed, Where is LAAS Going?--Ammended

I am very, very sorry to have to publish this post. The numbers show LAAS has failed to cut euthanasia rates during 2006 when they had been trending downwards for the previous four years. I was afraid that this post might cause much additional problems leading to the death of even more animals. I have had this post up on draft status for a week, not having the heart to publish it. But these figures and assessments have been circulating for a week now. I have not checked on the accuracy of all the numbers, but on enough for a general confirmation even of the bizarre rabbit numbers.

Boks has been under extreme pressure for the past year. ADL was after him all the time—as they were me. One can get extremely distracted from one’s work when under siege.I know, I was.

Boks' boss, the Mayor and his lackey, Jim Blackman, have shrugged their shoulders and not protected Boks from this pressure. (I was told "Tough; you asked for it. You are only a volunteer.") Blackman told Boks not to make waves or counterattack ADL, that is, in any way to be controversial, as that might hurt His Honor’s chances of becoming governor.

Boks has been forced to roll over and be passive. He has, in his own mind, needed to be Pollyannish as his only defense against ADL’s constant lies. This has been extremely unfair to him and has left his only real defense to the Blogger and me.

In addition, it takes a minimum of nine months to a year to get rid of bad personnel under civil service. There are many who he wants to get rid of, but hasn’t had the time yet, including some of his vets. Thankfully, the ADL has been fingering the offenders publically.

Stuckey claims to have fired a lot of deadwood, but in fact he only fired one during his year. Boks has not had his two AGMs until late November to share the executive workload. How much is his fault, and how much not, I don’t know. It should not have taken eleven months to fill these positions.

Hiring the new vets has been hard because of problems getting LAAS personnel functional. Paperwork was hung up because the person in City Hall personnel was on vacation for three weeks and no one else could process the applicants' paperwork. Of course, this only explains three weeks out of months of holdups.

Also, LAAS has just increased the starting pay for new vets, which has taken time. The old salaries are far too low, just as are still, the new ones ($83,000). How much Boks could have sped up the process-again, I don't know.

New shelters have not opened on schedule, but this is not Boks fault; construction and scheduling are not been under his control.

Yet, when all is said and done, a year has passed without improvement.

The numbers are as follows:

Ed Boks became the Director of LA Animal Services on January 3, 2006. What has he accomplished during this past year?

Dog euthanasia went down:

2001 56%.
2002 51%.
2003 42%.
2004 37%.
2005 32%.
2006 28%.

There is improvement in this one category though not as much improvement as in previous years. The reason for the reduction in the euthanasia rate is a decrease in the intake and a significant increase in adoptions. Boks gets credit for the increase in adoptions. Kudos for that.

Cat euthanasia stayed the same, even though it'd been going down steadily:

2001 69%.
2002 66%.
2003 65%.
2004 64%.
2005 57.17%.
2006 57.44%

Knowing that the cat euthanasia rate actually went up 1/3 of 1%, Boks chose to express the cat statistic differently than dogs in his press release. He calculated the actual number of cats euthanized to say that fewer cats were euthanized. Of course fewer cats would be euthanized as impounds were down, twice as many escaped and three times as many were stolen. Adoptions were only slightly higher. Notice that euthanasia rates dramatically decreased under Stuckey, 40% more than the other four years combined.

Rabbit euthanasia went up:

2001 38%.
2002 36.
2003 34% %.
2004 19%.
2005 12%.
2006 35%

Maybe it went up because (hopefully) fewer were "adopted out" as food for humans and animals. The only thing is that they'd been "adopting" them out as food all along so that should already be figured into the older numbers yet the euthanasia rate was still decreasing until 2006. Rabbit adoptions were up significantly.

"Other" euthanasia went up even though it'd been going down. This includes birds, reptiles, small pets, farm animals and wildlife:

2001 54%.
2002 57%.
2003 60%.
2004 40%.
2005 28%
2006 32%.

The new wildlife policy took effect in 2004. Before that, they used to kill wildlife. That is why the numbers are down in 2004 and 2005. They were also "adopting" out some small pets like mice and rats as food previously. Again, they've been doing that for years. Adoptions were down.

Overall euthanasia was the same even though it'd been going down steadily:

2001 60%.
2002 56%.
2003 53%,
2004 47%.
2005 41%.
2006 41%,

This is the important number. Why has the euthanasia rate stalled? So far the only thing that Boks has managed to do is increase dog adoptions. I'm thankful for that but I assumed the overall euthanasia rate would go down. Knapp, Greenwalt and Stuckey all reduced the euthanasia rate, even during their first year.

Here are a few other statistical tidbits. Boks keeps saying one reason the euthanasia rate is so high is because of unweaned puppies and kittens. Puppies and kittens make up only 17% of cats and dogs impounded but they do have a euthanasia rate of 71%. The rate of puppies and kittens coming into the shelter has been going down steadily. The higher kill rates of May-August of 2006 compared with 2005 cannot be explained as a result of an abnormally high kitten season; there were actually fewer unweaned cats in 2006 compared to 2005.

Here is the breakdown for type of animal coming in during 2006. Dogs 45% Cats 38% rabbits 2% other 15%.

The main reason the overall euthanasia rate stayed the same was because of cats. The increase in dog adoptions was not enough to offset the cats.


Boks needs to explain the successes and failures of his various programs to the Commission. Which programs worked and which did not? Has each been evaluated for success?

What in the system needs to be fixed? How does he plan on fixing it? When does he plan on fixing it?

How much additional monies does he need and for what programs?

How many additional animals will be saved per year after the new shelters fully come on line?

If an additional 5,000 volunteer hours, which would be the most effective in saving lives above and beyond basic health care: Adoption events? Socialization? Public relations and customer services? Educational information for adopters? Liaison with rescue groups? Education for owners turning in?

Just asking generically for more and more help does not sound like a manager who knows what he is doing. He or she must tell us where help is most needed. Does the volunteer coordinator need more assistant volunteer coordinators?

Is there any idea of how many spay/neuters can be accomplished next year if LAAS vets and outsourced clinical are maxed out? What would be the expected decrease in impounds and unweaned animals during 2008 as a result? Or, is Ed just winging it, hoping for a significant decrease?

When can we expect to get to a 15% dog and cat kill rate? What are the specific goals and benchmarks by which we can judge progressive success or failure? Any business plan, if it is to attract investors, needs benchmarks and milestones.

Boks has asked us to unquestioningly accept what he is doing and watch his success. Throughout the year I have been reporting his successes from the great stats January-April, to the dinner given by Brunson, to defending him against the ADL lies and half truths, to defending his record in NYC, to posting all of the promised programs, changes, increased budget, new shelters, and the benefits these should bring. I have said nothing as the LAAS numbers went south from May on and instead focused on protecting Boks against personal ADL attacks--which were severe and frequent and I am sure threw him off his feed week after week.

So then, for what then do we hold Boks accountable?

Here are some past projections which he completely missed:

"LA Animal Services rescues more than 125 animals every day, and despite this constant influx of animals we are committed to euthanizing 10% fewer animals every month than we did the same month last year."

Not only did they not euthanize fewer, they euthanized more in the last half of the year.

From Boks six month GM report:

Los Angeles city and county combined have cut their shelter killing in half since 2003, and at a combined rate of 3.94 are now killing fewer animals per 1,000 residents than San Francisco killed in 1994, the first year of the Adoption Pact that made San Francisco the first "no-kill city."

That number is wrong. It's not 3.94, it's 5.1. The 3.94 was based on using the LA City euthanasia figure divided by the LA County population number, which is almost double the City population.

"In just the first six months of 2006, we have seen another 12 percent decrease in dog and cat euthanasia compared to the same period in 2005. In the 05/06 Fiscal Year just ending, fewer than 19,500 animals were euthanized. This is the lowest number of animals killed in any one-year period in LA City history! At mid-calendar 06, the number of dogs and cats euthanized is 7,800. If we are able to maintain or improve our current efforts we may reduce dog and cat euthansia to under 16,000 this calendar year representing an additional 20% decrease in euthanasia."

Not only did Boks miss this projection by 17%, but euthanasia went up in the second half of the year. It was 32% higher than in the first half of the year. In 2006, 19,216 were euthanized instead of his projected 16,000 He posted the opening dates for all the shelters. They are all behind schedule. Only one has opened.

He talks about the new spayneuter clinics. They are not open and won't be open for a while. He said he would double the New Hope partners from 60 to 120 in six months but he only has 70 after six months.

He talks about the STAR program which provides medical care to severely injured animals rescued by the shelter. The shelter has always done this. He just called it a "program" and gave it a name.

The Big Fix program is not a program. It's just a name he gave to our existing group of spayneuter programs. He said he will do a 20 page monthly GM report but stopped doing them in August when the numbers went south.

He missed the implementation date for all of his programs. He stopped the plus one, minus one program when he started missing all his numbers. He did 39,000 or so spay/neuter in 2006, predicted in a report that he'd do 55,000, then told me he would be doing 10,000 a month by the beginning of 2008.

So far his projections have been extremely unrealistic.

It is time for Mr. Boks to have a series of fireside chats and not pep talks telling us where he is taking LAAS.

This is the Kind of Info Public Shelters Need

I keep harping on the idea that we need to understand cat and dog population dynamics and social behaviors before we break through the 55% live save level. I found this site that presents a lot of the kind of research that needs to be done.



During the past year I have never said one word about ALF. I have strongly opposed the ADL attacks on Boks and LAAS during the past year. I do not believe they have the welfare of the animals in mind. I think they are more interested in chalking up wins to solidify their leadership in a social revolution rather than saving lives. I strongly oppose their associates’ sewer-level character assassination methods. I find them cowardly and sick and I do not believe they have saved any animals from being killed. Indeed, it appears that during the past year, their repeated sewer-level attacks have inhibited beneficial reform of LAAS. For not one minute though, do I oppose their picketing of “targets” except when their acts become violent.

Regarding ALF, I have mixed feelings. Why they are considered America’s number one domestic terrorist group is beyond me. Maybe Bush thinks they are going to fly a 747 into the Bank of America building killing 3,000 people—or not. Maybe animal industry lobbyists—protecting the financial interest of an industry that kills animals because the dead bodies are economically useful—has sold Congress in this climate of fear, that ALF and other anti animal abuse groups are training grounds for people who will fly a 747 into the Bank of America Building.

I can’t think of a social revolution, from the American revolution, to abolishing slavery, to the civil rights movement, to India’s freeing itself from imperialist England, that has not had associated violence. Not that I condone it, but it is a fact. Massive social change begets reactive conservatives who are the Establishment, who beget more zealous proponents of the movement’s cause. Suppression begets escalating violence.

I strongly oppose ALF’s raids where they “liberate” animals that will be killed for financial gain, and are left to fend for themselves to die by starvation or by predation. 90% of all displaced wildlife die soon after relocation, therefore, what chance does a “liberated” mink have in Iowa? Their argument that given a choice, the animals would rather live in freedom dying of starvation rather than being killed by an electric prod is totally anthropomorphic and a residual of specism.

But I do applaud ALF’s ability to bring the public’s attention to the suffering of animal industry killing. I also applaud other animal welfare leaders who have the courage to publicly oppose the animal terrorism act as has Charlotte Laws.

I also applaud those who are messengers for ALF and animal sanctity, such as Jerry Vlasak, who have faced possible death at the hands of sealers and who now face the prospect of imprisonment for propagating the doctrine that all life is sacred. I am ashamed that, out of fear, I have not voiced my support for them earlier.

As a past Buddhist priest, I have seen the failure of the faith in the-evolution-of-conscience proponents to bring about change in attitudes about animal abuse and killing. Some monks in many Asian countries eat meat and see nothing wrong with it. That the religion of peace for the past 2,500 years cannot increase compassion towards animals, does not support the methods of evolution-of-conscience theorists.

I just wish ALF would think more about the consequences before committing acts of economic or other violence that may hurt the animals more than they drive lower-level animal killers out of business. I also urge them to forswear the sewer politics and methods used by ADL; these methods rob them of the moral high ground.

I also fear that in adopting violence as a modus operandi, they will lose their own compassion and degenerate into a movement of thugs. Then again, perhaps thugs are necessary. I don’t know. Teach me. Dialogue about this. My blog is open for the expression of all viewpoints.