The Mysterious May Numbers

There was a dramatic decrease in the number of animals killed in May. Dramatic! Dogs down by 145 compared to last year, but cats killed has been reduced by a huge 576! Combined, this is 721 cats and dogs fewer than last year! Comparing March, April and May, 1,150 fewer animals were killed compared to the year before.

This has led to a drop in the number of cats and dogs by 1,150 compared to last year. This is not a lot compared to the decreases made by Stuckey and Greenwalt, but it is a lot for Boks.

This is especially surprising as there has been little increase in lives saved. Normally anomalies such as this would be explained by stuffing the shelters to the gills—which is happening.

Of the intakes for April and May, there are 183 dogs unaccounted for, and an amazing 645 cats! So there are an amazing 828 animals not accounted for! Last year only 53 were not accounted for.

These “missing” animals would explain much of the decrease in animals killed compared to last year.

What is odd, and would not be explained by stuffing the shelter, is that 373 unweaned kittens are not accounted for in April and May. This is a lot considering the short lifespan of neonates.

These missing can only be explained by:

They had an in-house feeding group, which they tried and failed last year. NOT!

They may be keeping many more neonates with their moms. MAYBE.

It may mean they were mis-classified in “Condition” as neonates when they were actually weaned kittens (or puppies for that matter as strangely as the numbers change). MAYBE, This does not compute given the historical May numbers.

Number manipulation?

Historically, May has averaged about 400 more intakes than April. This year was only 141 more. He is turning away neonates by the hundreds. Hopefully a large percentage of them will live, perhaps by being returned to their moms, and others being saved by unregistered bottles feeders.

Of course, the hundreds turned away mean a larger cat intake next year.

Besides neonates, he is turning away ferals--an unofficial “Release” program.

So far I heartily agree with these policy changes. It gives more cats a chance to live, but it also creates a big problem for next year’s intake. Phyllis Daugherty complained about this at the Town Hall. No one likes her anyway.

However, the missing 828 animals is a concern given that monthly numbers posted on the LAAS change constantly. About 60% of the posted figures are different from the year before. So far, I have not found a pattern. They are almost random. But the interesting thing is, THAT THEY CHANGE AT ALL.

Changing figures mean the statistics are unreliable and open to manipulation. Comparisons will always be tentative as the numbers are always changing. It also leads to booby traps, as Ed did to me at the Town Hall meeting, where I was surprised with much different numbers than anticipated.

As I said in an earlier post, there are two versions of his annual report. In versions #1, he stated that the number of animals that will be saved is projected to drop by 2% from 54% to 52% as a result of increasing intakes.

However, after he talked to a reporter from the LA Times, who pointed out a discrepancy in his statistics, the numbers of animals projected to be saved increased 2%, from 52% to 54%, or 1,900 animals in Version #2 of the report. How there can be a change of mind regarding so large a difference in a period of a few weeks is suspect, especially as it followed a reporter pointing out a discrepancy.

Ed says he is changing the numbers to make them more accurate. He is creating new categories of animals each month, such as missing. It also means that he is probably changing the condition of animals after their initial intake condition is registered, such as he said happened to explain his way out of the Hayden violations.

If he is doing this, the terms treatable and adoptable are meaningless, and he can say, with a straight face, that all animals left in the shelter should be killed, as the County is doing. If in addition, hundreds more of animals are also unaccounted, the posted statistics become even more meaningless.

In any event, Boks had a good year last year through May; June began the debacle of high kills. Will this scenario be repeated—YES!

But what about the missing neonates and 60% changing numbers? I would certainly like to see the insides of Chameleon and see what it can and cannot do.


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