Time for the Heavy Spinning

Ed Boks published a new post today called Time for the Heavy Lifting. I think it was written in jest and my response should be taken that way too.

SPIN: LA Animal Services has been striving to achieve No-Kill for several years. Over the past five years LA Animal Services has reduced dog and cat euthanasia by 50%.

TRUTH: Yes Ed, LAAS made a lot of progress towards no kill under Greenwalt and Stuckey, but none under your watch in 2006.

SPIN; Many animal welfare professionals have long considered 5 killings per 1000 residents to be the threshold to achieving No-Kill.

TRUTH: O.k., I guess one could say—theoretically--that 19,263 animals killed is on the threshold of no kill. Of course that person would be insane.

SPIN: New Hope placements are down 8.5% - suggesting LA Animal Services is efficiently adopting out the most adoptable animals and our New Hope partners are helping many of the more difficult to place animals, nearly 6,000 in the last twelve months. This leaves what many might consider the most "un-adoptable" or unwanted animals.

TRUTH: Oh come on. It could also suggest a deteriorating relationship between LAAS and the rescue groups. It could also suggest they have less money than the year before to take care of the animals once adopted. Would they say, "You guys are less adoptable, therefore we are investing in Google rather than in you."

SPIN: LA Animal Services is doing its part. Pet overpopulation is a community problem requiring community support. Making LA Animal Services the enemy, as some armchair activists do, is like holding Doctors Without Borders responsible for third world disease.

TRUTH: LAAS is like Doctors Without Borders? How about like St. Francis and Mother Teresa?

SPIN: The vile discourse common among a small number of self professed animal welfare proponents in LA serves only to make the final mile of the race to No-Kill more difficult, not less.

TRUTH: That is a very, very big final mile. Is this like your "Giant Leap Towards No Kill" Last Year? Why not just say we are no kill right now?

SPIN: While I am loathe calling attention to this faction because it only gives them the attention they crave, it is important to understand the damage they do to the cause of animal welfare in Los Angeles.

TRUTH: I used to believe this too. But criticism is now coming from a lot of former friends and supporters who see the lack of progress under your watch. In effect you are blaming all critics now for your failure.


Anonymous said...

New Hope partners didn't have to pay for animals in 2006, yet they took fewer than in 2005. I think it is a deteriorating relationship with rescuers but Boks can spin it any way he likes.

BAW said...

You seem to know what is going on....did FAF find a CEO yet? thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think it is all coming down to one thing, this concept of "no kill" as it now stands just flat doesn't work in an open door shelter. Sorry you guys are having to learn this lesson the hard way. Continuing to insist that an open door shelter can become no kill is barking up the wrong tree. It is now time to re-visit the problem and come up with new solutions. And at best hope for "low kill" at the open door shelters.

Ed Muzika said...

Re the post that No Kill is not possible, the poster does not get the concept that no kill is a concept, a goal. You don't throw out a goal because LAAS hasn't done it yet.

NoKill does not have an accepted definition. Using the terms "adoptable" or "treatable" is of no help, because as Boks says, the line wanders over time.

I do think that Boks definition of no-kill, that a cat/dog would be killed only if so judged by a compassionate vet and owner is a good one. He has set the standard and I think it is a good one.

Anonymous said...

That blog post of Boks' is the biggest load of BS I have ever seen! How dare he compare himself to Doctors without Borders. He is PAID to be the Director of Animal Services. It's his job to reduce the euthanasia rate, increase adoptions and just plain save animals. He's no saint or nonprofit servant. It's his job, and he's failing miserably.

How could two city beauracrats perform better than experienced nokill Boks? I'm starting to think that his past is fabricated. Maybe he did cook the books in Arizona and New York. How could he not make any progress here when even horrible directors made progress?

I'm truly insulted by his blog. How stupid and gullible does he think we are? He wants to take credit for other directors' work because he has clearly failed this last year. Why doesn't he just come clean, recognize his failure, apologize then show us what he's going to do to improve. To lie about his failure, blame activists and the public is just shameful.

Anonymous said...

I think the drop in New Hope adoptions shows that rescuers are responsible. Some people are against giving animals to rescuers for free. This decrease in NH adoptions is proof that many rescuers take on only what they can manage.
Maybe the department should increase their public adoption events and stop relying on the rescuers. Pawfect Match should happen every day of the year. Rescuers wouldn't be so overburdened if the department can inspire the rest of the city to adopt an animal.

Anonymous said...

No one said to throw out the concept that all of us want to see the day when no animal has to be euthanized for time and space. But the concept of these "no kill" supporters does not work in an open door shelter. What part of that don't you understand? Just the term alone kills animals in the shelters. I'm saying to re-visit how we think about the shelters and come up with something that works instead of continuing to beat a dead horse.