Something Positive About Boks

I talked to one of my friends who works at one of the shelters.

She says things have improved dramatically under Boks. Far fewer animals are being killed and all animals are being treated now compared two 2 years ago when it was very iffy if an animal got treated at all. They are also being kept longer--a lot longer, which she considered a good thing. (Adoptions are up. Fosters are up.)

She also said no animal was ever turned away from her shelter. She once saw some employees try to refuse a man from turning in his dog. He just laughed at them and said, “You are government employees, you can’t refuse to take the dog.” (I still agree that refusing owner turn-ins is a good idea no matter what some might think, at least with cats. On the streets they might have a higher survival rate than in the shelters.

The single biggest cause of euthanasia was neonates. When I informed her of the dramatic decrease in neonates being impounded, she said part of that was likely due to urging people who are turning in neonates to foster them. This was not a lot of people, but a few. These do not get booked in.

She didn’t think they were being reclassified after being booked in, but suggested darkly, that at some shelters, neonates turned in at night are not booked in, but the next day shift might just take them into a back room and euthanize them without ever booking them in. As a matter of fact this was an ADL allegation that Boks was dong in NY and at Maricopa.

Personally, I do not think either of these explanations would explain the hundreds of decreased neonate impounds, nor do I believe for a second Boks' explanation that the sudden and precipitous drop was due to spay/neuters last year. This explanation is plain silly, as there would have been a gradual decrease begining in March or so. I am jusr perplexed. However, I do believe Ed had something to do with this, either a policy change or numbers manipulation, or turning neonates away in ceratin shelters.

Now that I think about it, neonates may not have much chance of survival if not impounded and their deaths would have much more suffering involved. But, adult cats are different. They have a chance to survive in the streets or of owners actually making an effort to adopt the cats to friends and neighbors.

In any event, about 1,000 have disappeared compared to a year ago.
As someone else told me, "Be careful, the next GM you get may be worse." Food for thought.


Anonymous said...

Boks has been pressuring the shelters to get their numbers down, at any cost, any way they can. That is probably why they are just euthanizing the neonates without booking them in.

In NY when Boks needed to get his numbers down, he first started not including owner euthanasia in his numbers. Then he encouraged all owner surrenders to sign owner requested euthanasia documents. This way he could kill ALL owner surrender animals 30% and say they had requested euthanasia. Then he didn't have to include it in his numbers. Intake and euthanasia instantly down 30%.

Just one of his many "nokill" tricks.

Ed Muzika said...

With regard to the comment above, I would note that Boks currently counts all breathing animals in, including owner requested euths, as an impound figured into the LAAS kill number and percentages.

San Francisco municipal does not. They do not list owner requested euth as a euth if the shelter vet considers the animal too sick or suffering. Perhaps most no-kill shelters do this.

Therefore, SF's actual 80% save rate is more like 77%.

I agree with this policy even though it lowers the shelter numbers artificially. It is a truer measure of the effectiveness of the shelter in creating live saves.

However, if Boks were to do this now, there should be a asterisk all statistical charts that the current figures should be adjusted upwards by 3-4% to make them commensurate with the old statistics. Of course he never will. I do not want Boks to parade a claim that LAAS, under his lead, cut euth another 4%--which he will.

Regarding not booking neonates, there is no proof here. My source just said it was not done at her shelter (Won't give her away, but she is at either West LA, West Valley or Harbor).

However, she would not put it past other shelters. She is quite cynical about LAAS employees and what they do.

I do expect Boks to create a category encompassing owner requested euth but he will not use that term. Maybe it will say "euth for irredeemable suffering." But then he will exclude that category when calculating the kill rate, just as "died in shelter" animals are not counted when calculating euth percentages. However, the live save figure will not go up using this artificial device and may actually go down if the disease rate continues to climb due to overcrowding.

Live saves is a far better measure of the effectiveness of s shelter to save lives if we count all live impounds. Then the medical prowess of the shelter could be evaluated.

I do agree with Boks holding the animals much longer if the adoption and new hope percentages out perform the increase in the "Died in shelter" category. That is, if the adopted and New Hope categories increase live saves more than injury and disease kills them.

Anonymous said...

I love the way everyone is only concerned with the animals that are "lucky" enough to be accepted by the shelters. No one seems concerned about the animals that are being turned away, what happens to them. The "no kill" mentality: out of sight, out of mind, who cares.