You see things and you say Why? But I dream things that never were and I say Why not?
George Bernard Shaw, 1921
Readers should look at some comments recently left by "Yea-Sayers." Someone is suggesting programs that may save lives. Much more importantly, this person articulates the need not just to give up when a problem is perceived; you think of solutions, or even better, you reframe the situation so that the problem is an opportunity.
Nay-Sayer will say, "You can't do that, the numbers are against you." The Yea-Sayer will see the numbers as a challenge, and will say something like, "How do I bring in more foster parents at the West Valley shelter? How do I enlist Margaret or Tim to foster?" Or, will say, "How do we keep the moms with their babies longer?"
On the other hand, there are those who might reframe the problem and regard it as an opportunity, saying, "Let's set up an LAAS pediatrics program to train vet students on summer vacation, or a neonatal care unit as part of a shelter management program." Or, "Let's make LAAS a teaching shelter system, like a teaching hospital. Use the overabundance as an opportunity to practice and build a world-class center for vet training and animal ethics. After all, isn't LAAS where the patients are?"
Another might saw, "Boy, I bet an ecology or biostatistics department at UCLA would love to do a project on pet and urban animal populations. We'll add that to a LAAS teaching program. I'll bet FAF would fund it."
Or, "Let's talk Donald Trump into making LAAS the focus of two, not one, projects. The first would be to live-save as many kittens as possible, and another would focus on adopting "ordinary" pets."
You see, having lots of animals can be an opportunity, not a problem. The solutions are as big as minds can think and a community can rally round.
This kind of thinking is entirely beyond Boks. He has shown an unparalleled ability not to listen to anyone. He perceives listening to advice or even accepting free help offered the same as admitting he doesn't know everything, which destabilizes his guru-hood.
An animal shelter director from Northern California has offered to consult for free--several times. Boks never returned his calls. I offered to do statistical analyses of animal numbers, sources, dispositions, etc., for free, and despite being one of his bloggers, never heard a word from him. I think Ed is a loser because he wants to do it all by himself. He does not want to share the spotlight of success with anyone, but he doesn't have the ability to do it alone. Therefore, he shares the spotlight of failure with no one.
Marvelous! So very much could be accomplished in Los Angeles. I have never understood the perceived limitations! L.A. has such vast resources in terms of talent and finances, and a reputation for being on the cutting edge. It's hard to believe that we permit this downtrodden state of affairs to exist for our animals in Los Angeles and that some claim there is no possible way to overcome it and help them!
As you point out, there should be much more media coverage for our animals. Los Angeles is the film industry capital of the world. Why is Los Angeles Animal Services not better connected with LOCAL television and film production GIANTS as a means to educate the public in an entertaining way, increase adoptions AND bring in revenue? They are standing idle and letting the private sector of business produce mountains of publicity and make all the money when the animals need it. All the while claiming there's no other "option" but to kill animals and the issue is insurmountable. It's insurmountable if there is no MOTIVATION for it not to be while routinely collecting a paycheck and it's insurmountable if what is being performed as an "acceptable solution" is actually something to be ASHAMED of. You can't market death and the killing of innocent animals to a caring, animal loving community!
A viable PLAN must be in place and killing can't be a "convenient option" or a matter of just hiding the TRUTH. Trying to fool the public is not going to cut it in terms of gathering support either.
Who is going to invest in an entity that does not have a viable and comprehensive plan for success, pleads poverty, claims the issue/market is insurmountable/saturated, lacks public trust AND is deep into the nasty and unpopular business of killing innocent pets in volumes? Try taking THAT to the bank and see if you are granted a loan!
Further support in terms of finances, manpower and creative operational solutions will follow once there's a viable, proven no-kill template tailored to our city in place that we can ENHANCE and CONTRIBUTE to! We MUST have a plan as a solid foundation for success and a plan that the public and businesses have confidence in in order to attain their support and to succeed. We have to overcome the negative perception that is based on a historically poor local track record due to a lack of motivation, creativity and compassion that has resulted in the acceptance by some of killing animals as a "solution." In order to win public support we have to earn it with a solid plan. The process is methodical, but methodical is not synonymous with long term and definitely is not compatible with not having a foundation, a proven template, for success! We are not going to succeed by plodding along aimlessly. I feel very confident that we can meet our goal and exceed the expectations with the supply of overwhelming talent and resources we have in Los Angeles if we have a solid plan and the leadership to implement it!
Why are we letting the Grim Reaper win by destroying our beloved animals, our good name and our spirits? Would you allow the Devil to come knocking at your door, enter your home, rob you of your self-esteem and kill all your children? I certainly hope not! Stand up for the animals with respectable ENTHUSIASM and PRIDE, and protect our innocent animals that love us and are depending on us to do it.
I agree that a lot could be accomplished in LA. I just don't think it'll be easy. Some of these nokill gurus like Nathan Winograd believe in "nokill overnight." I don't think a consultant could just give the City a little to do list and that'd end all killing. I don't think that's possible but I do think it can be done eventually. We do have a big problem here but we also have some vast resources which we could tap like celebrities, people with money, people with media connections...
Yes, we do have a big problem, and one worthy of more attention. No one is trying to say that it would be "easy." We're saying that it is achievable and I'm saying we should be utilizing the resources available, including consulting services with the expert in the field.
Nathan Winograd does not guarantee that shelters are converted to "nokill overnight" and it's a misrepresentation to imply that he does. When I asked him previously if killing animals could cease immediately his response was that "in some cases that is possible." I have talked with him in the past about that very concern when discussing another matter and I am comfortable quoting his response. I, too, believe that exercising due diligence is always a good position to take. But, please do not promote a misbelief based on a misperception - it's damaging to the mission.
A tailored blueprint or template based on thorough analyses (statistics, demographics, etc.) and proven models is not "a little to do list." It's OPERATIONAL ANALYSIS, a respectable field. Such analyses would produce a desperately needed comprehensive PLAN. What we're CURRENTLY working with is "a little to do list" at best and it's not effective. So, you are correct!
When a company is failing, "in the red," if the CEO wants to keep his job or his company and he doesn't like losing money, a smart CEO will hire a specialized management consultant - a successful one, to provide an operational plan to get the company out of the trenches, and the Board of Directors and stockholders will insist on it. THERE'S NO SHAME IN THAT! But, that won't happen if there's no motivation to save the company or to increase profits. The other approach in that situation is to market that the business is much more successful and profitable than it actually is in order to raise the price of the stock or look for investors to invest in a poorly run business unbeknownst to the investors. However, the facade is not sustainable. So, the company may be sold while the facade is still strong. If not, it will begin to become public that it is a failing company.
The longer we wait to do it right, the longer it will take to achieve and that many more animals will be killed.
(Also, for the record, I talked with Nathan Winograd previously concerning hiring him myself. I am not looking for a job, etc., and I do not have any agenda, for or against, other than effectively saving animals on a broad scale.)
What I have been referring to as a "blueprint" or "template" should be referred to as an operational assessment with recommendations, what is commonly known as consulting services.
Our Plan could be based on these recommendations, that MUST be followed by the way, coupled with our own creative ideas that are a good fit with the recommendations.
Also, in looking back at my notes concerning the "no-kill overnight" concern, I see that the response was actually that "in many cases it is possible." I had said the response was that in some cases it is possible. No doubt, the feasibility would be determined on a case by case basis.
Also, it's my expectation that the suggestion of hiring a consultant, specifically "No Kill Solutions," will not be twisted into an opportunity to perform political favors or hire cronies to consult instead of the suggested professional California based firm, "No Kill Solutions."
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