Ed Boks tends to lie a lot, or present an impossibly rosy present that is contradicted by fact.
From LAAS site, Fact vs. Rumor #6 posted by Boks a few days ago:
Boks then: The Daily News has printed a couple of ill-informed letters to the editor in recent months exaggerating the veterinarian shortage in LA Animal Services. A recent piece claimed LA Animal Services’ veterinary vacancy rate is at a “cruel 84 percent”.
A significant fact omitted from this dire description is that the twelve veterinarians budgeted are to staff our six new spay/neuter clinics, five of which are still under construction.
Council motion April 3, 2006 by Zine and Alarcon:
The Department of animal Services (DAS) is currently experiencing a severe shortage of veterinarians. Currently, 10 out of 12 veterinarian positions, including that of Chief Veterinarian, are vacant. These vacancies have resulted in only two veterinarians absorbing the responsibilities to oversee the City's six shelters which handle approximately 46,000 animals per year. Consequently, the two veterinarians have been forced to work overtime to ensure that the City's animal shelter needs are met. As a result, the veterinarians have become exhausted and less efficient.
The shortage of veterinarians has raised concerns about the Department's ability to provide adequate services in City shelters. It is urgent that the City implement the necessary steps to increase veterinarian hiring and retention. Immediate action is needed to ensure that the quality of animal care does not continue to suffer.
NOTICE THE COUNCIL MOTION IS TALKING ABOUT CURRENT NEEDS, NOT FUTURE NEEDS AS S/N CLINICS ARE BUILT.
From Fact vs. Rumor #6:
Boks then: A significant fact omitted from this dire description is that the twelve veterinarians budgeted are to staff our six new spay/neuter clinics, five of which are still under construction.
A seventh Spay/Neuter Clinic in South LA will soon be staffed. While we await the opening of our six additional clinics we now contract with over 25 local private veterinarians to provide this important service.
In addition to our staff veterinarians, LA Animal Services has over 20 medical staff members who are licensed veterinarians in other countries. This allows them to perform in LA as very highly skilled Registered Veterinary Technicians.
LA Animal Services has 149 private veterinarians available to provide care to animals in need. We routinely use 30 of these veterinarians as needed.
Which is it Ed, do we need 12 vets now because our current two vets are overwhelmed providing health care for animals currently in the shelters, or are the 12 vets needed in the future when the spay neuter clinics are opened?
According to Boks, LAAS has: 2 staff vets; 20 foreign trained vets; 25 private vets performing spay neuter, and 149 private vets on tap to provide health care, which total 194 veterinarians. Hell, I did not know there were that many veterinarians in LA (of course I did).
Boks states that the 12 vets are to be utilized to man six spay/neuter clinics, five under construction. Does this mean the actual vet diagnosis and treatment are left to 20 vet techs and 149 on-call private vets?
Is Boks saying that currently LAAS has no budgeted staff to handle the health needs of the animals in the shelters? The budget for 12 vets is for facilities that have not yet been built? Why are the two vets overloaded when they should be doing spay/neuters in clinics that have not been built?