Ed Boks is the Truth-Challenged General Manager of Los Angeles Animal Services. Ed is a master spin-master. He can make Armageddon feel like a cooling summer breeze. He squeezes Animal Shelter statistics until they confess to his distortions. He is a side-show ringmaster, orchestrating fiascos such as the Hooters for Neuters event that netted LAAS nothing, but him, notoriety.
Recently the Daily News published an article about Boks and the veterinarian shortage. Boks made it seem that the problem will be fixed this fall using students and faculty of the vet program at Western University.
The Western University veterinarian program does not have any buildings. The University itself does have several buildings, but the vet program does not. Their website has a "rendition" of the vet school building, which means it does not exist. It has not graduated any students. It is not accredited. They have no shelter medicine program.
I am not knocking the school, and agree it is a great idea for the future, but I am knocking Boks' claim they will rescue LAAS this fall. We need ten more vets now--desperately.
The whole article is PR fiction, a pipe dream, typical Boks’ wishful thinking. He cannot distinguish between his fantasizing and reality. I really think he believes what he says could happen, will happen.
Boks says LAAS starting vet salary is $92,000. This is a lie. Current vet salaries are listed on the LAAS website. A Veterinarian I’s starting salary is $80,868 and a Vet II is $83,352. Even the Chief Vet starts at $87,499. Boks must not look at his own website.
A week ago Zine and Alarcon moved that Personnel should do a study on what it would take to bring 10 new vets here. This, of course, involves fixing salaries at a competitive level. I think Boks knows it will be $92,000, so that is what he told Bartholemew. This is Boks’ wishful thinking, confusing future possibilities with present reality.
The first quarter shelter numbers, like last year, APPEAR to look good until the second quarter, when the mass murders begin. Boks holds animals as long as he can, massively overcrowding the shelters, so that the first quarter stats look good and can fool simple minded people like me into believing that all is rosy and No-Kill happened last Thursday.
The 2007 first quarter stats look only microscopically better than last year’s. After 15 months, 1.25 years, the self-proclaimed No-Kill guru has brought the euthanasia rate down from 41% to 40%. If we set No-Kill at a 10% euthanasia rate, we'll be there in 2045.
The shelters are overcrowded with animals that have little chance of being adopted, creating a catastrophe in the making. Crowding can magnify any disease outbreak and could result in hundreds of animals being killed, as in Reno a few months ago, where 1,000 animals were killed over a weekend.
The in-shelter death rates under Boks have been climbing ever since he came aboard and we can expect them to climb much higher. The major killing will begin in May. Like last year, he will blame it on a horrendous kitten season, even though the kitten season, the year before under the previous General Manager, Guerdon Stuckey, was much worse.
Every month since Boks became GM, cats are getting screwed. In No-Kill or even low-kill shelters, many fewer cats, including ferals, are killed and most unweaned kittens are saved. Not in LA. Last year 5,889 of all cats impounded were killed their first day in the shelter, and 5,622 out of 7,341 unweaned kittens were killed during the past 12 months.
Philadelphia, San Francisco and Charlottesville save most of their unweaned kittens because they have extraordinary bottle-feeding foster volunteers who later adopt, or find homes for the kittens. LAAS’ bottle-baby program is almost non-existent. LAAS has shown no ability to enroll or keep its volunteers in any area.
After 15 months, even under strong pressure from the Animal Services Commission and the humane community, Boks still not prepared a plan for a No-Kill LA. We have no idea where he is taking LAAS, and apparently he does not either.
All of LAAS’ improvements are in Boks’ mind or the distant future.
Los Angeles deserves a real No-Kill General Manager, someone, unlike Boks, who actually spends time at the shelters, analyzes the operations, then makes things work.